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5 Modern Tips for Dealing with Steep Resume Piles

November 22nd, 2013

Is that pile of resumes or application papers starting to teeter? Do you need to fill a position but dread sorting through the massive numbers of applicants you have managed to pick up? HR Specialists and small business owners have been struggling to wade through large resume pools for years. As an experienced Connecticut staffing agency  for over 15 years, we’ve come up with few tips on making the experience as swift and simple as possible.

1. Create Online Applications and Use an ATS

In today’s age of cloud apps and vendors, your applicant processing should be moving over to an online version. While those paper applications may be easy to print out, online application and application track system (ATS) software will cut your processing time and make it simple to instantly find the best resumes in your (digital) pile. Online applications allow you to specify fields that must be completed in order to turn in the application, guaranteeing that you get the information you need. ATS software allows you to automatically weed through resumes based on customizable keywords and similar controls. If you are not using software to help sort through your applicant pools, you need to start.

2. At Least Create Digital Responses

All right, small businesses and tight budget may make it difficult to move to a full ATS model – it’s okay. But you should still be using online tools to speed up the process. Create automated email responses that you can rapidly send out to promising applicants to ask for more information or set up an interview time (if you are not asking clients for an email address, something is wrong with your application process). Try to allow local applicants to send in their resumes via email as well – it’s easy to do and will save you both paper and time.

3. Create a Personal Keyword Filter

In you are looking at resumes and applications with old-fashioned eyeballs, then try to look beyond specific words and focus more on the application as a whole. Resume-builders are obsessed with keywords these days, and try to jam as many of these buzzwords as they can into a single page in order to hit all the “right” notes. Train your brain to look beyond all these customized phrases and see the general profile of the applicant, their experience and capabilities. It may be helpful to avoid reading too hard, especially when it comes to skill lists. Focus on the story of the applicant, not their keywords.

4. Divide the Pile

For old-fashioned resume reviewing, no resume should take you more than 10 to 20 seconds to make a decision about. Look at the resume/application, make a choice, and consign it to a pile. Typically a pile of “pursue these applicants” is sufficient. However, you may want to create a second, smaller pile of back-ups if all your go-to applicants prove to be unfit for the position. If you are working with email folders, create a folder for applicants that you can trust.

5. Explore the Most Likely Hires

In this case, explore does NOT mean emailing back and setting up a phone interview or personal talk. There is an important step you should take first – look them up online. Visit their LinkedIn profile (another sign of a good modern applicant) and take a look at any work or projects they have posted there. Social media searches may also reveal some important information. Even a Google search for an applicant name could turn up some useful bits of data you can utilize.

About Merritt Staffing

Founded in 1989, Merritt Staffing specializes in filling entry-level to middle-management positions in Westchester, Fairfield and New Haven counties. Our staffing and payroll services fill a variety of employment needs, including part-time, full-time, temporary staffing, temp-to-hire and direct-hire positions. See more at: http://www.merrittstaffing.com

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