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Resume Screening Process: Complete Guide for Recruiters


Trinh Nguyen

Apr 18, 2023

The recruiting cycle involves numerous steps, from posting jobs, collecting resumes, interviewing candidates, and sending offers. Frankly, resume screening proves the most critical but time-consuming and overwhelming task. This is the first step that decides whether you pick the right candidate for the position.

In this article, we’ll center on 2 methods to screen CVs efficiently. We’ll also discuss challenges HR staff may face while scanning through resumes. But before digging into the resume screening process details, let us brief you on what resume screening is as well as its importance in your hiring.

What Is Resume Screening?

Resume screening combines reviewing and evaluating job applications to determine whether a candidate meets the requirements for a particular job. During the resume screening process, you analyze CVs, cover letters, and other application materials to assess a candidate’s information. This data include qualifications, skills, experience, education, and other relevant factors.

Scanning through resumes carefully aims to identify the most suitable candidates for further consideration. It helps eliminate those who do not meet the minimum requirements or are not a good fit for the position.

This process is usually carried out by recruiters or hiring managers who use specific criteria to evaluate applicants’ suitability for the job.

Why Is The Resume Screening Process Important?

Screening resumes carefully benefits your organization’s hiring in many ways. Not only does it allows recruiters to check individuals’ background, but it also helps them decide their suitability for the job and company culture.

  • Time-saving: It saves you time interviewing unqualified candidates by eliminating them in the early step.
  • Improved quality of hires: Employers can identify candidates with the necessary skills and experience for the job, which can lead to higher-quality newcomers.
  • Cost-effective: Minimizing additional rounds of interviews or assessments will help lower recruitment costs.
  • Reduced bias: A proper resume screening process forces you to focus on objective criteria such as qualifications, experience, and skills. As a result, you can make sure of a diverse pool of candidates for a more inclusive workplace.
  • Better candidate experience: This step creates a positive candidate experience by ensuring that only qualified candidates are invited to further stages of the hiring process.

What to Look for in Resumes

There are numerous key factors to consider when going through CVs so you can identify the most qualified candidates.

  • Relevant Experience: Only choose candidates that match the requirements of the job.
  • Education and Certifications: Check whether the candidate has the required education or certifications.
  • Skills: Identify specific skills required for the job and look for evidence of these skills in the candidate’s resume.
  • Achievements: Look for achievements or accomplishments that demonstrate the candidate’s ability to perform well in the role.
  • Job Stability: See whether the candidate has a stable work history and has stayed with previous employers for a reasonable time. You can prepare some interview questions about why the candidate quickly landed many jobs.
  • Keywords: Use keywords related to the job description to identify candidates who have used similar language in their resumes.
  • Formatting and Presentation: Pay attention to how well-organized and easy-to-read the resume is. This will partly indicate attention to detail and communication skills.
  • Cover Letter: Review the candidate’s cover letter to gain insight into their motivation, communication skills, and fit for the role.

Resume-Screening Methods

It’s possible for you to screen resumes manually or automatically. Each method comes with pros and cons that affect your efficiency in the long run.

How to Screen CVs Manually

Manual resume screening requires careful attention to detail and an objective evaluation of each candidate’s qualifications and fit for the role.

Step 1: Review the job description

Before reviewing resumes, it’s necessary to understand the requirements and qualifications for the position clearly. Meanwhile, you should have a checklist of key skills, experience, and qualifications required for the job. This checklist will help you evaluate each candidate’s resume more easily.

Step 2: Scan for important information

Now, collect CVs from emails or job boards. Then, quickly scan each resume to find related data such as work experience, education, and skills. Look for evidence that the candidate has the necessary qualifications for the job.

For example, if you’re finding a Python developer with 3 years of experience, you can scan each resume for previous positions in Python.

Step 3: Narrow down the candidates

Use your checklist to narrow the list of candidates who meet the job requirements. To do this, you may separate scanned resumes into three different groups. ‘No’ for those who don’t meet the criteria, ‘Maybe’ for those who meet some criteria, and ‘Yes’ for candidates fulfilling all the criteria.

It’s time to double-check people in the ‘Maybe’ group to decide who can be rejected or should be moved to the next phase.

It’s estimated that only 3% of resumes will result in an interview, so don’t worry if you have to reject so many candidates.

Step 4: Follow up with phone interviews

Once you have identified a shortlist of candidates, consider following up with phone interviews to assess their qualifications and interest in the position.

Automate the Resume Screening Process with Dr.Parser

Dr.Parser comes as an AI-powered resume parser that gives you a helping hand in extracting and organizing CV data in one place.

We already have a detailed guide on how to parse resumes online using Dr.Parser. All you need to do is register for a Dr.Parser account, upload the resume, and then receive the extracted data.

Place where Upload Resume

Dr.Parser can integrate seamlessly with most Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), making it easier for you to manage the entire hiring process. Not only does the tool extract and organize resume data, but it also allows you to search for relevant candidates via its smart search function. You can filter them based on skills, experience, and qualifications.

Automatic resume screening requires a careful setup of an ATS system and ongoing monitoring to ensure that it effectively identifies qualified candidates. It saves time and resources in hiring but should be combined with manual review to ensure considering all qualified candidates.

Differences Between Manual and Automated Resume Screening Process

Whether you screen CVs manually or use a tool, each method has pros and cons that may affect your proficiency. The table below compares the main differences between these 2 methods for you to consider.

Manual Resume Screening Automated Resume Screening
How HR staff has to scan resumes themselves Using tools
Efficiency Slower and time-consuming, especially in the case of high-volume recruitment Faster
Accuracy Easily prone to human errors More accurate. May miss important information not included in the resume, such as soft skills or achievements
Flexibility More flexibility in assessing candidates Limited by the criteria set by the software
Cost More expensive Costly upfront. Requires less time and human resources.
Bias More human bias. Recruiters or hiring managers may unconsciously favor candidates with similar backgrounds or experiences. Reduce the bias by focusing on objective criteria

The best approach will depend on the company’s needs and resources. A combination of both methods may provide the most effective approach to resume screening.

Challenges Recruiters Face During Screening Resumes Process

Resume screening is always one of the most critical steps in the hiring cycle. Thus, you must have several difficulties when reading through every single CV.

  • A high volume of resumes: Recruiters often receive tons of resumes for each job opening, making it hard to review each one thoroughly.
  • Lack of relevant experience: Many candidates apply for jobs even if they do not have the necessary qualifications or experience. This can challenge HR staff to identify qualified people.
  • Unstructured resumes: Poor formats or unclear information in CVs prevent recruiters from evaluating and comparing candidates.
  • Bias: Recruiters may unconsciously favor candidates with similar backgrounds or experiences.
  • Time constraints: Recruiters often have limited time to review resumes and must balance this task with other responsibilities, such as scheduling interviews and communicating with candidates.
  • Inconsistent screening criteria: Different recruiters may use different criteria when evaluating resumes, leading to inconsistencies in the hiring process.
  • Language barriers: Resumes from non-native speakers may contain errors or be difficult to understand. This makes it challenging for HR staff to evaluate candidates’ qualifications accurately.

Ready for Efficient CV Screening?

The resume screening process plays a crucial role in any organization’s hiring. It allows recruiters to filter out unqualified candidates and identify potential hires who possess the necessary skills and experience required for the job.

By following a structured approach and using tools such as Dr.Parser, recruiters can streamline the screening process and save time while ensuring they select the best candidates for the job.

Additionally, job seekers must tailor their resumes to match the job requirements and highlight their relevant experience and achievements. Overall, a well-executed resume screening process can result in successful hiring outcomes and contribute to the growth and success of an organization.

If you still have any questions about CV screening, contact us to let us know now.