4 Resume Screening Tips every HR Professional Should Know

August 11, 2016 Abby Oberholtzer

Being responsible for the recruiting, hiring and firing of personnel at your organization is no small task.  In fact, it may seem like the only thing working against you in your role as an HR extraordinare is time, or the lack thereof.  When you're busy juggling employee relations and compensation and benefits, it's only natural to cry to yourself quietly when you glance over at the stack of resumes for any and every open position at your company.  But wipe away those tears, we've got a couple ideas to help you quickly scan for qualified applicants you and your hiring manager will want to speak with.


  1. Make a List of Must-Haves: Aside from what the "Requirements" section of the job description lists, jot down a few desired characteristics that your organization as a whole, appreciates.  For instance, if your company prides themselves on their charitable efforts, put applicants who volunteer their time and talents near the top of the stack.  Alligning an individual's values and goals with the company they hope to serve may help them feel more connected to their new potential position.
  2. Look for Effort: It doesn't take long to identify which candidates actually give a rat's rear about your organization or the available position. If there are misspellings, incorrect grammar or missing summary statements explaining why they're perfect for the job, you might as well toss them in the "we're going a different direction" pile. 
  3. Scan for Experience: Experience isn't always everything in the hiring process, but it's definitely something. When an applicant's resume reads 'Sales Coordinator,' but they are applying for a VP position, straight into the "No" pile they go.  If someone is obviously applying for something that is far beyond their career level, they're the first candidates that should be set aside.
  4. Set Aside Time:  The key to actually getting through that overwhelming stack of resumes is, oddly enough, to give yourself the time to actually do so.  Set aside an hour each day where you can hunker down and give each candidate's resume a once or twice over.  Keeping on top of that ever-growing list of applicants will help prevent that gut-wrenching feeling when interview week is barrelling toward you and you haven't even glanced at potential candidates yet.  

Whether it's for an entry-level position or an opening on your company's executive team, resumes of countless candidates will come flooding through the door.  Hopefully these tips will help you sink your teeth into that seemingly endless stack of CVs and jump-start your hiring process - Happy Screening!!

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