You recently placed ads for an open position at your firm and now you’re flooded with resumes. How do you sift through the piles of paper quickly and objectively to find Mr. or Ms. Right? Over the years I’ve developed this five-step plan to help me filter through resumes and identify strong candidates.

Weed the Garden

The first step is to make a list of minimum requirements a candidate must have for the position. This could include education, experience, specific certifications, etc. Scan through your applicants’ resumes and eliminate all that do not meet your minimum standards.

Look for Signs of Growth

When I look at a candidate’s work history, I search for signs of career growth. Has the person been stagnant in their career, or have they had an upward trajectory? This is particularly important when filling senior staff positions. A stagnant career can be a red flag and indicate lack of direction or motivation.

Goldilocks Job History

Gone are the days when you expect to see candidates who stay at the same job for 15 or 20 years. Changing companies is normal, and often desirable, but beware of applicants who change jobs every year or so. I generally look for people who don’t stay too long or too short in a position. Too long can be a sign of complacency, and too short of a tenure is costly in terms of recruiting and training a replacement.

Customized Messaging

If an applicant is serious about wanting to work for you, they will custom tailor their resume to provide you with information pertinent to your position. Scrutinize any resumes or cover letters that sound like boilerplate.

Sort it Out

After you have filtered out the unqualified applicants it’s time to sort out the remaining candidates. Sort them into three groups. Group 1 being the strongest, 2 being in the middle, and 3 being the weakest. Eliminate group 3. Move group 2 to the bench and interview the candidates in group 1. Keep group 2 in reserve in case you don’t find the right person in group 1.

This filtering system will result in interviews for about 15% of your applicants, and that’s much easier to manage.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.