One of the most time consuming parts of the recruitment process is CV screening particularly if you have a wealth of applicants and you don’t want to miss out on that perfect candidate.

CV screening is the process of determining whether a candidate is qualified for a role based on his or her education, experience, and other information captured on their CV. The goal of CV screening is to then decide whether to move a candidate forward to the interview stage.

It does sound obvious but as an employer you need to ensure that you understand what kind of person your company requires and what you want this person to do before you start the whole recruitment process. The last thing you want is an abundance of CVs with candidates that do not suit your requirement.

It may take a little longer, but creating well thought out job descriptions, person specifications and involving the relevant management team throughout, will vastly improve the whole recruitment process.

Tips for CV screening

Create CV screening criteria

Once you have outlined the kind of candidate you want, it is important to set out some simple CV screening criteria. Identify what you’re looking for from your applicants at the outset with preferred and minimum criteria such as qualifications and experience.

This will enable you to quickly run through your applicants ticking or marking their CVs against your set criteria.

Applicant tracking systems

With the help of Applicant Tracking Systems, employers can filter out candidates whose skills and experience don’t match the job requirements, so that you don’t have to see them. If a CV doesn’t include the right keywords or isn’t tailored to the position the applicant is applying for, it will be rejected.

Yes / No files

Think about dividing the CVs into piles. Give priority, whether it’s ‘skills’ or ‘experience’ and then create folders of ‘must haves’ definitely yes’, ‘definitely no’ and even ‘maybes’.

Presentation, layout and mistakes

Scan through the CVs checking all of the important information you require to make a decision is there and laid out in a manner that is easy to decipher. Check the CV for grammar, spelling and typos. If CVs are littered with mistakes it tells you something!

Beware of employment patterns

Be aware of a flurry of employment stints within a short amount of time as this could indicate a potential ‘problem employee’ who fails to settle or has secured jobs that he/she cannot handle. Likewise applicants that have stayed with the same company in the same position for a long amount of time may indicate a stagnant, risk-adverse employee.

Keyword stuffing

Be aware of keyword stuffing. Some applicants will ‘stuff’ their CV with perceived industry buzz-words as they presume you may be using ‘applicant tracking systems’, however an over use may be covering something up and the buzz words could be the best thing about their CV!

Be ruthless

If you have a large number of CVs to read, you need to be ruthless in your assessment of them otherwise you will keep going back to them to reduce the numbers down. This is where setting your criteria comes into play.

Telephone screening call

If you have a shortlist but want to quantify a few things on a CV that may appear ambiguous it is worth considering carrying out a short telephone screening call. These calls can be invaluable as not only will you be able to clarify certain points it will also give you an idea of the applicants communication skills.

Let Bell Cornwall screen your CVs

The aforementioned are just a few basic CV Screening tips to help you, and you can see it will take you time and there is an art to it, so why not let us take the strain away and carry this process out for you. For more details on our recruitment services please contact us here.