Cut Wasted Time on Resumes


ResumeThe prospect of wading through 100 resumes can intimidate even the toughest manager. Well, procrastinate no longer. Here’s a three-step system for breezing through resumes and applications without breaking a sweat:

1. Identify key criteria. Keep it down to two or three qualifications that are absolute minimum requirements. Watch out for two common extremes, either criteria too difficult too meet or criteria so general everyone passes. Put aside any resumes which don’t fit the profile. You are on the right track if most of the resumes make the grade after this first test.

Example: You are looking for someone with a master’s degree in engineering and a minimum of three years’ experience. Time per resume for this test: 15 to 20 seconds.

2. Pinpoint key job skills. Pick four or five skills which aren’t absolutely necessary but will make life easier for you and the person hired. Underline strong areas, circle weak areas. This keeps you from getting caught up in resume rhetoric. Put aside the resumes which don’t show these skills.

Example: The applicant should have good writing skills because engineers frequently make lengthy written reports to department heads. Time per resume for this test: One minute.

3. Form separate piles of resumes. For example:

Winners. You’ll be able to hire from these applicants.

Runners up. You might have to pick from this pile.

Also-rans. Rarely will you need to interview from this pile.

Now you’re finished. All that’s left to do is set up the appointments.