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Resume Screening 101: Are you making any of these errors when selecting Middle Tennessee Candidates?

The good news?  You had a great response to your last job posting.

The bad news?  You had a great response to your last job posting.

You know what I’m talking about.  Slogging through dozens or hundreds of candidate resumes is a time-consuming and sometimes monotonous process.

Still, it’s a critical step in hiring the right employees for your Middle Tennessee business!  Your next great hire may be in the stack of resumes you’ve received.  But if you don’t have a diligent, methodical screening process, there’s no guarantee you will identify this superstar – and he may unwittingly slip through the cracks.

The resume screening process is fraught with potential missteps.  Factors like the number of resumes you receive, the average level of candidate quality and even your mood can affect the accuracy of your assessments.  So make sure you have a sound process in place.  Use these tips from Wood Personnel to avoid common resume screening errors – and make better hires:

  • Know what you’re looking for.  Before you review a single resume, make sure you have an accurate description of the job itself, as well as the top 3-5 requirements or skills necessary.  Create a clear measuring stick by which you’ll judge each applicant, to keep yourself from comparing applicants to one another.
  • Set aside adequate time.  Whether you receive 10 resumes or 200, take the time necessary to screen every one carefully.  Avoid the temptation to rule out large groups of resumes, just because you believe you have a couple of “hot prospects” that seem to meet your criteria.  Take a disciplined approach, devoting the same time and care to each potential candidate.
  • Wait until all the resumes are in.  Further level the playing field by waiting until your job posting officially closes to begin reviewing resumes.  The first applicants may not be an accurate reflection of your total candidate pool; plus, your enthusiasm and attention to detail may wane throughout the process – giving an unfair advantage to the first individuals who apply.
  • Look for reasons to include – not exclude.  Instead of picking apart every resume (looking for reasons to reject candidates), search for reasons to pursue applicants.  Identify the individuals who stack up well against your measuring stick, guarding against ruling candidates out based on potentially irrelevant factors or inaccurate assumptions.  If you’re on the fence about a candidate, schedule a 10-minute phone screen to help you make your decision.
  • Remember that the best candidate may not have the best resume.  Being “hyper-selective” when reviewing resumes may cause you to overlook a potentially great candidate.

Once you’ve identified your top candidates, take the time to verify the information they’ve presented on their resumes (including work history, education and certifications).  In today’s job market, candidates exaggerate and even lie on their resumes – and your screening process needs to weed these people out before you invest significant time in them.

If you don’t have the time, desire or internal resources to effectively screen resumes, Wood Personnel can help.  With 25 years of experience, we know what it takes to carefully screen candidates – and deliver the good people who will last in your organization.  Contact Wood today to learn more about our recruiting services for Middle Tennessee employers.