Resume Screening: A How-To Guide for Recruiters

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Talent discovery is crucial for every organization, so they’ll invest in a recruitment team saddled with finding the best hire for the available job position.

But an average hiring process can get complex, as any HR manager would tell you. Recruiters often have to dedicate significant work hours, poring through CV and resume submissions to see which of them makes the screening standards. 

But that doesn’t tell the entire story. When you put things into scale, hiring talent for a job takes more processes than usual. On average, most job offers received about 250 applications . Therefore, the hiring team must set several standards to narrow the list to the most qualified candidate in the job market.

Furthermore, companies may decide to increase their hiring rate while keeping the recruitment team roughly the same or smaller in some cases. Such strategies may force recruiters to get creative in the resume screening process to get the right-fit talent with as few resources as possible. They also focus on talent intelligence  during the hiring process.

As hiring personnel, you might wonder where to begin a modern-day resume screening procedure. What are the initial considerations? Don’t worry; we’ve got a quick and easy How-To guide on the most effective resume screening process.

Resume Screening: Its Place in the Hiring Process

Resume screening is one of the first steps to talent onboarding in an organization. It’s the preliminary step where the manager vets each resume application to determine if they can fit into the open job description.

Typically, the recruiter runs each resume against some factors that would objectively decide which of them gets approved for the next phase. 

Resume Screening Factors

Since every submitted resume contains each prospective applicant’s qualifications, the recruiter must develop specific factors to ensure that the submissions are considered without bias. The following are the standard screening factors you must consider:

Minimum Qualifications

The minimum qualification for an open job position means the lowest possible attributes each prospective applicant must have to make it to the next stage. Any candidate who doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications gets dropped automatically.

However, the minimum qualifications can differ based on the job description. For instance, it can be a specific degree for a technical position and a license for clerical roles. 

Preferred Qualifications

You’ll take things further by considering the preferred qualifications during the resume screening process. Again, these attributes are nice and would make the candidate fit more snugly into the vacant position.

Preferred qualifications  aren’t compulsory and don’t mean you’d drop anyone who doesn’t have them. However, any resume with the preferred qualifications would have a higher priority than those with only the minimum attributes.

A preferred qualification might be years of working experience, an advanced degree, or additional certification. Candidates with such attributes can get considered for the next screening phase much faster than others. 

The Shortlist

You must understand that none of the abovementioned screening factors work in black-and-white. The minimum and preferred qualifications should give you insights into drawing up a shortlist, allowing you to complement your recruitment needs with the available talent options. 

Depending on the number of candidates you’ll eventually hire, your resume screening shortlist can include every application or the most suitable one that meets both minimum and preferred qualifications.

Resume Screening Software

As an organization grows in the workforce, its recruitment team has to evolve to accommodate the increased applications for open positions. Unfortunately, HR departments rarely expand to accommodate the added resumes they have to handle. That leaves them to explore the possibility of using screening software to address each applicant.

Resume screening software is often a part of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) package. They enable the manager to automate each resume consideration, effectively cutting down the time taken for the entire process. 

A typical resume screening application will parse applicants’ qualifications to determine their eligibility. You have to upload the talents’ into the system. Some packages allow for bulk uploads if you’ve got many applicants at a time. 

Then, the system automatically scans through the emails and attachments to pick the right candidate. Finally, it will upload the selections to a central dashboard where other recruiters can view them. Furthermore, you can configure the resume screening software using mapping functions and modes. 

Also, you can find some excellent screen software alternatives on the market. You may need a subscription to access their full features, or you can try to find some free options.


A complete recruitment process has many progressive steps and can get intensive for the managers. That’s partly because organizations want to onboard new talents with as little a cost as they can manage. 

Are you a new recruiting personnel looking to learn the latest methods  to breeze through the resume screening process? Then, our short but handy guide above can set you on the right path. 


Lori Wade is a journalist and content writer for many outlets, including Draftable .


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By Lori Wade