10/19/13 By Jennifer Brown

Resumes in a PileHave you ever posted a job advertisement, received 50 or more responses, and then had to spend hours upon hours reviewing each resume? This is a waste of time, especially as busy as you are with your business! You need to weed out the unqualified candidates quickly. Here are a couple of techniques I love for doing this:

1. In the job posting, explain how the candidate needs to apply for the position. An example of this is:

“To apply for this position, send an email to jobs@company.com and put in the subject line: APPLYING FOR DESKTOP PUBLISHER POSITION. Please also include a paragraph about why you are the best candidate for this position and your required salary range.”

By doing this, you can immediately see if they know how to follow directions and have attention to detail – two skills that are typically important for most positions. For those candidates that don’t apply as specified (with the right words in the subject line and the paragraph with salary range), you can immediately put them into the “no” category.

2. For those candidates that successfully pass the first step and apply as you specified, then read their paragraph. Is it well written in terms of being easy to read, thoughtful and grammar/typo free? If not, put them into the “no” category.

3. If their salary range is out of your range, put them in the “no” category.

4. For resumes, review them for the key minimum qualifications that are specified in the posting. For example; ducation level, certifications, clearances, driver’s license, software knowledge, industry experience, and/or number of years of experience. For any candidates that don’t meet the minimum qualifications, put them into the “no” category.

By following these simple steps, you should be left with a much smaller stack of resumes to review! The remaining resumes should be reflective of candidates that meet the minimum qualifications of your position. You want to take your time reviewing these resumes in order to determine which candidates’ previous job roles and responsibilities, skills, abilities, and knowledge are consistent with the position’s responsibilities. For those candidates you deem qualified, you want to quickly call them to get a phone screen interview set-up – before someone else hires them!


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Jennifer Brown is the founder of PeopleTactics LLC, she is devoted to helping small business owners implement solutions to prevent Human Resources problems that drain them of their time, money, and energy. Jennifer works with small businesses in order to help them build stronger employee relationships, understand and comply with employment laws, establish policies, and set up easy-to-use HR systems to consistently avoid problems.

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