Wood Words

How to Screen Resumes Faster

Dreading that inbox flooded with applications?

If you don’t have sophisticated applicant tracking system technology, hand-sifting through piles of resumes can be a time- and labor-intensive process. Still, screening resumes effectively is vital to identifying the best candidates for your available job.

How can you speed up the process, without sacrificing accuracy (and overlooking a potentially great new employee)? Today, Wood Personnel provides practical tips to help you screen resumes faster:

Set aside time. To screen resumes efficiently, block off time to dedicate to the task. Find a place where you can concentrate, and minimize outside distractions to boost your focus and speed.

Keep a reference list handy. Make an abbreviated, prioritized list of the essential skills (hard and soft) and experience for the job. As you sort through resumes, refer to this list to make your first round of cuts.

Scan resumes for these key data points. During your first round of screening, separate the wheat from the chaff. Identify candidates who you may consider for the job, making sure they have:

  • the right type and amount of experience
  • essential degrees, certifications and/or licenses
  • the top hard and soft skills you require
  • good geographic fit (unless it’s a telecommuting role)

Identify “red flag” candidates. Beware of candidates who:

  • oversell their experience
  • are ambiguous about job responsibilities
  • are job-hoppers (and fail to explain why in their cover letters)
  • make careless mistakes (such as spelling and grammar errors) on their resumes

Turn off that little voice in your head. When most of us read, we actually pronounce the words in our heads. Known as “sub-vocalization,” this process greatly impedes your reading speed. To eliminate sub-vocalization, try reading the text in the resume by following your finger, line by line, at a speed that’s faster than your normal reading speed.

Take a systematic approach. As you whittle down your applicant pool, use ratings to compare applicants. Award points on a scale of one to five for each of your top skills, experience and attributes. This scoring system will help you objectively identify your best candidates.

Don’t have the time or interest in sorting through large numbers of resumes? Offload the process to Wood Personnel. As a leading Middle TN employment agency, our employment experts will identify the top candidates for your available position, so you can make a great hire – while staying focused on your top priorities.