September 11, 2017

How to screen a CV, efficiently?

#HonestMonday is here For all those who deal with CV’s whether online or offline.

A Glance A Stare A Blink

Screening a CV holds a big chunk of their work day routine. “Please share your CV”, “Can I see your CV first?”, “Can you email me your CV”. “Please have a look at my CV”. these are the sentences we listen to, on daily basis. It’s very important that we know, how to correctly and efficiently screen a CV. I have spoken to many hiring managers, my colleagues about how do they screen a CV.  Few of them start telling me that they read the whole CV before interviewing, from top to bottom, all pages. That’s great, really, but not necessary.  Few say, they just read the headings/ experience. Few say, they hardly go through CV’s, they simply interview the person while going through his or her CV, it saves time and makes more sense to them.

It’s essential that we break down the process of screening the CV. The CV’s that we receive, on daily basis, have gone through a process of shortlsiting and now its time to screen them for better judgement, Do it carefully.

A CV consists of these topics essentially:

  • Personal Information (Name, Contact Details)
  • Prologue (Objective/synopsis/cover letter)
  • Education Details(Primary/college/higher education/professional/Certifications)
  • Experience (trainings/workshops/tenure ad responsibilities)

WIth having so many fancy recsume writing softwares and third parties around, we recieve various verisons of CV’s , but nevertheless, these four are the essentials. I divide screening a CV into three parts, So while screening a CV we must know what to pay attention to briefly (A glance), what to read in detail (A stare) and what to ignore (a blink).

  • A Glance: pay attention for a brief time (max 5-7 seconds)
    • Personal Info
    • Date of Birth
    • Nationality
  • A Stare: Maximum time of your Screening time should be here (20- 50 seconds)
    • Education Details
    • Experience details
    • Job responsibilities

Spend maximum time at this section of resume with all your focus so you know your candidate well, before interviewing him personally. Read in detail about his education, look for gaps, year of passing, any special recognition. Pay attention to the job responsibilities he/she handled in past, see the growth pattern, check the tenure and look for breaks and gaps. These details will give you a valid set of question you can ask the candidate during the interview instead of asking same old school repetitive questions.

  • A Blink : Things one can ignore to read or pay attention to. Provided you have all the extra time
    • Objective
    • brief synopsis
    • extra curricular activities

we traced 100 CV’s for the profile of a Digital Marketing manager and none of them knew what have they written as their objective exactly.Also in 72% of these CV’s, the objective was almost the same. The brief synopsis offers nothing better than what you have analysed from the first two steps. You can talk about the extra curricular activities and hobbies while interviewing the person .

So ,while screening a CV properly while analysing if he/she is suitable for the desired role, an average of 40-45 seconds are spent.

PS: Do not confuse it with the much talked about “6 seconds spent on a CV” thing. you can’t select or reject a CV of personnel in 6 seconds, but yes you can choose whether it qualifies for screening or not.That’s shortlisting from a bunch of CV’s. Will write about it in a separate article.

Happy Screening!





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