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Screening resumes takes time, methodology, and sometimes, a sense of humor

Sorting through resumes can be a time-consuming, pain-staking responsibility for managers and HR professionals. Depending on the number received, they can spend hours poring over resumes for just one position, eventually deciding on “yes,” “no,” or “maybe.” Many times, there are a few gems to be found. Professional recruiters estimate that 75-80 percent of resumes submitted actually show that the applicants are not qualified for the position.

Some job applicants, such as the ones with these statements on their resumes, make it easy for job recruiters to decide on an emphatic “no”:

  • “Desired Position: Profreader”
  • “Left last four jobs only because the managers were completely unreasonable.”
  • “Any interruption in employment is due to being unemployed.”

Of course, a serious candidate won’t have a resume with such blunders. So, how can managers identify the best candidates as efficiently as possible?

Establish a review process and know what to look for in resumes

By the time an open position is advertised, the department manager and HR representative should agree on what minimum qualifications are needed and what preferred qualifications are desired.

Next, weed out the resumes that don’t meet the minimum qualifications. Of those remaining, pull the ones that meet all or some of the preferred qualifications. Compare them (possibly assigning a range of number scores) and ask questions related to these key areas:

  • Does the resume show relevant skills, work experience, and educational background?
  • Are there related accomplishments and a logical career progression?
  • Do you see specific, measurable results?
  • Does any experience or education make this applicant special?
  • Is the resume well organized with good grammar and spelling? This indicates organizational and communication skills.
  • Are there large gaps in employment, jobs without dates, or many short-term jobs? (Here’s a laugh from one resume: “Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping.’ I have never quit a job.”)
  • Are industry keywords overused or used incorrectly? This could signify trying to cover up a lack of knowledge.

Ideally, you should now have several resumes that stand out, which you can rank and prioritize for interviews.

Of course, the job recruiting process entails much more than screening resumes, and the complete process from A to Z requires time and patience. It’s no surprise, then, that we regularly hear from companies in need of recruiting assistance to advertise their position, search for candidates, collect and screen resumes, identify top candidates, and contact them for initial interviews.

The job recruiters at TriStarr can help with any step of your search process

The team of professionals at our recruiting and HR consulting firm can also perform background checks, provide personality/behavioral assessments, and conduct initial interviews. Our job recruiters and employment specialists can lighten your load and find you the best candidates, including temp staff for administrative staffing or professional staffing services.

If you would like help with searching for and interviewing candidates, we hope you will talk with us here at TriStarr, a recruiting/staffing agency and HR consulting firm with recruiters (or headhunters) in Lancaster, PA.

We are willing to compare our performance record with that of any of our competitors by offering our Good People Guarantee. If a client isn’t completely satisfied with a full-time or temporary recruit, we will replace the person with another candidate at no cost or provide a refund.

TriStarr serves the Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon and Reading areas. Contact us online, or give us a call at (717) 560-2111.

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