Human Resources News & Insights

More resumes than ever? Top 5 ways to find the best

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These days, any company with an open job is hit with a flood of resumes — but more resumes doesn’t necessarily mean more quality candidates.

About 78% of HR managers surveyed said more than half the resumes they’re getting now are from unqualified people, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey.

On average, companies are getting more than 75 resumes for each position they advertise. Also, CareerBuilder reported a record number of visitors in January and a 25% increase over last year in the number of applications filled out.

Given the pile of resumes ending up in the HR office these days, weeding out the best candidates is becoming more difficult. But here are some steps experts recommend for a more effective resume screening process:

  • Get the job description right. One reason the ratio of good resumes to bad can be so low: The position is advertised based on an outdated job description. Work with the hiring manager to make sure every listing still accurately reflects what the company’s looking for.
  • Look for specifics. When candidates list their accomplishments, keep your eyes peeled for possible exaggerations. Statements you can trust usually include specific details. For example, you’d rather see something like, “Managed a staff of 10 accounting employees,” instead of, “Managed the entire accounting staff.”
  • Find signs of initiative. To separate average workers from star employees, look for signs that candidates possess initiative and did more in their previous jobs than just what was expected of them. Some key words to highlight: “led,” “created,” “designed,” etc.
  • Don’t take certifications for granted. Especially with technical positions, some candidates may list a host of industry certifications — but some are more meaningful than others. Check with the hiring manager or another employee in that department if you see certifications you don’t know anything about.
  • Use an effective phone interview. Highlight remarks that need clarification or further probing. That way you’ll know exactly what you need to find out in the phone screen, giving you an efficient way to decide who moves on to the next round.

How do you choose the best resumes out of the pile you recieve? Share your advice in the comments section below.

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