How to Handle Resume Overload

Last Updated Apr 20, 2009 7:28 AM EDT

  • The Find: With so many people out of work, hiring managers are swamped with resumes and struggling to separate out the quality candidates, but a well-conceived online application process can help.
  • The Source: Perfect Labor Storm 2.0 blog.
The Takeaway: Gone are the days when a nice classified ad in the Sunday paper brought in a few dozen easily sorted resumes. Nowadays with unemployment soaring any job opening is likely to attract thousands of applicants, from the exceptional to the woefully under-qualified. How do you sort out one for the other without killing yourself with paper cuts or being crushed in an avalanche of paperwork? The internet holds the answer, asserts Ira S. Wolfe, the author of both the book and the blog entitled The Perfect Labor Storm 2.0. He recommends the following system:
Prospective employees should be able to fill out an application online 24/7. Immediately upon submitting their resumes, these candidates should be asked to complete an automated online interview. This screening interview includes job specific filter questions (from as basic as "Are you available to work weekends including Saturdays and Sundays?" or "Have you completed a two-year or four year degree?" to "Describe why you feel you are an effective leader and provide an example"). You can also pre-qualify by asking skill and competency based questions ("Indicate your proficiency using Microsoft Excel").... For the hiring manager, this means fewer phone calls to unqualified, unmotivated and uninterested candidates and faster access to the qualified candidates.
Perhaps it's not the most groundbreaking suggestion of all time, but it's got to be better than the quick glance and gut instinct method of sorting through the resume stack.

The Question: How are you handling the deluge of resumes received for any job opening?

(Image of unhappy woman with paperwork by joshuahoffmanphoto, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.