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Tips for Screening Resumes

Having trouble finding the right candidate for the job?  Resumes piling up on your desk?  A little planning and organization can make the resume screening process a lot easier.

Know the Position Vacancy

This means more than just knowing the job title.  You also have to know the job qualifications.  Is the job description up to date? If the job description is missing or out of date you’ll need to do some job analysis and write an accurate job description.  Accurate job descriptions include a list of necessary candidate qualities: independent, team player, self-directed, etc.

Create an Evaluation Spreadsheet

Chart and rate the candidates as the resumes come in. Ways to chart resumes include:

  • Alphabetizing by name of candidate
  • Numerically by date received
  • Qualities to consider: credentials, competencies to help identify candidate, educational requirements, years of experience, accomplishments, gaps in employment, spelling errors, etc.

Identify the “Must Haves”

Order your list of must haves from most important to least important and refer to this list when looking at potential candidates.

Review Resumes

Sort the resumes into yes, no and maybe folders. Resumes in the yes folder will meet or exceed all the “must have” criteria. When sorting these resumes look for:

  • Competencies supported by accomplishments
  • Numerical percentage to support claims (i.e. Increased productivity by 15%)
  • Job hopping that exceeds the norm – if these resumes are in the yes folder you may need to reconsider
  • Excessive writing and spelling errors
  • Acceptable reasons where gaps in employment occur

Sort Folders

By now you should have three separate piles.  The yes, the no, and the maybes. Place the no and maybes aside. Then sort and order your yes pile. Are the candidates in this pile still acceptable?

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