Have You Tried Video? And 8 Other Strategies for Narrowing Down a Mountain of Resumes

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: With the average corporate job opening attracting hundreds of resumes, what strategies do you use to wade through the sea of applications to find the right candidate quickly?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

1. Set Clear Criteria and Deal Breakers

If you’re dealing with a large pile of resumes, or the digital equivalent, define some clear criteria and deal breakers to narrow down the field. These could be a certain amount of experience, a certain degree, or knowledge of a certain computer language. Setting up strict standards at the start reduces the number of resumes you must give your full attention to. — Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting 

2. Screen for Spelling or Grammar Errors

When someone sends you a resume, there should be no errors on it. A truly detail-oriented candidate would never let mistakes through. This is especially important for me, because I work in a field where picking up the tiniest details could mean the difference between winning for a client or losing. — Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A. 

3. Search for the Specific Skills Required by the Job

Many people submit resumes blindly and don’t bother to change them when applying to multiple positions. We’re looking for very specific skill sets — for example, our marketers need to know how to work with backlinks and with our clients — so we only let through the resumes that have the skills we listed in our ad. — Duran Inci, Optimum7 

4. Leverage Artificial Intelligence

Many companies are implementing artificial intelligence to expedite the hiring process and relieve their HR departments. AI helps by targeting specific keywords or criteria and surfacing applicants based on those. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms 

5. Look for Additional Experiences and Skills

Where does the candidate excel? Whatever it is, it should be valuable to the job they’re applying for. I’ve fielded many resumes that shine with achievements and excellence, but people with skills cultivated beyond the immediate domain of the role in question truly stand out. These extra skills can boost their creativity. — Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS 

6. Add Special Instructions to Your Job Posts

We always add special instructions for applying when we post a job. The instructions range from using a certain subject line to including a certain piece of information in a cover letter. Candidates who don’t follow the special instructions lack the attention to detail that we look for in our team members, and we eliminate them immediately. — Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc. 

7. Look for the Best Cover Letters

The best resumes will have the best cover letters. A good cover letter can be identified by reading just a few lines. If I like it, then I short-list it right away. This method mostly works because then I don’t have to waste my time interviewing candidates I am not interested in hiring. — Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite 

8. Ask for a Video Resume

While videos take time to view, asking people to submit a video will show you how interested people are in the position, depending on how much effort they’ve put into their submissions. The video doesn’t have to be award-winning, but it should show you the candidate really wants to work at your company. We look for authentic humans over fancy resumes any day. — Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences 

9. Delegate to an Assistant

Hire someone to filter the applications based on the job description. This will move a core task off your plate, and you can be sure that the person reviewing understands your criteria and knows how to proceed. — Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc. 

By Recruiter Q&A