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Drowning In Resumes

We’ve heard the horror stories: a job a goes up for an hour and gets six hundred responses. Ugh.

That’s not very efficient.

How can you manage the paperwork?

Trevor Smith at has a couple suggestions:

Write a focused job description. The fewer responses you get, the fewer you need to manage. “I’ve found it best to focus descriptions on specific skills and a ‘here’s what a typical day looks like’” description, Smith says. “Most candidates will disqualify themselves if they don’t match most of the requirements listed.” (Though as jobseekers become more desperate, they may not self-select as much as recruiters would like.)

Judge by its cover. Sure, first impressions aren’t everything, but you should toss resumes with typos or ones printed on pink paper.

(Three more tips after the jump..)

Consider the questionnaire. “Sure it adds one more document to look at, but a simple 5-10 question evaluation is invaluable! If candidates don’t take the time to complete it, then they are an automatic throw-away. This gives you a chance to evaluate: how candidates follow directions, express ideas, writing skills, understand the position/skills required, etc.” (Ed. note: PLEASE don’t make it more than 5-10 questions…and consider leaning toward more like two or three.)

Use keywords. Jobseekers hate them, but if you’re deluged, you may have to resort to this method.

Review with expertise. “Have someone with some level of expertise in the advertised position a part of the review,” Smith suggests. Why? “They will much more efficiently be able to sort through the necessary skills and experience, and be able to identify which skills are hard to come by vs. easy to acquire.”

Nothing will completely eliminate the busywork if you have thousands of resumes to go through, but this triage method can get the best ones to the top quicker. And remember, taking the time to get the resumes right is less time you (or your company) has to take to manage a bad hire.

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