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As recruiters, you may have to constantly face situations where you post a job for a client on various job boards and within 10 minutes your inbox is jammed with applications. You want to do your best to go through each application, try not to miss out on any applicant and be as fair and open as possible in screening the applications. Here are a few tips you could use when you go through the resumes and try to screen the applications.

Consider job description as the starting point: Job description is the first initial step where we as recruiters spend time in understanding the job, the requirements and qualifications and put it all in words. Hence, job description remains the basis of screening where we go through applications and try to judge how much of a match a resume is to the job description.

Look for Keywords: While going through the resume, look for the keywords that you have highlighted in your job description. For example, if your keywords are a few technologies, find out when and where those technologies were last used and for how long. This will help recruiters screen candidates based on their hands-on experience in the field where they have used the relevant keywords and will give an idea of how a person’s profile would fit the position.

Qualifications: It is essential that recruiters properly understand the qualifications that the job requires and try to match them with the qualifications that the applicants’ resume mentions. It will also help to sort certain qualifications as more important than others. This will help recruiters screen candidates further. Another criteria recruiters could use to screen profiles based on qualifications and experience is the industry or domain in which their previous experience was. For example, whether they have worked most of their work life in health and insurance or telecom or motor industry. This will help recruiters determine the kind of work they are capable of doing and screen them accordingly.

Phone screening: If you want to further screen candidates with similar qualification description, talking to them over the phone is a good way to do it. Phone screening helps you understand their experience, qualification, education better and can help recruiters filter the potential candidates further. Before making the call, make sure you have a checklist of questions ready to ask. Make questions that could help pull out more information about the candidates’ skills, expertise and accomplishments and help you filter the “real” profiles from the fake ones out there. Phone screening also lets you judge how confident the candidate is with the skills and keywords and could help you figure out if he is genuine.

Requests for References and Profile checks: It is a good idea to ask candidates for a couple of professional references from their previous jobs/projects. This will help the recruiters do some form of background check on the candidate. Recruiters could also ask the candidates whether they have a profile on LinkedIn or any other employment based social networking website to probe more into their experience, skills and accomplishments.

Even though you have a lot of applications come to you from everywhere for the job you posted, as a recruiter, you have to remember that you must maintain and strengthen your relationship with the client/employer and evaluate candidates in a way that will only better this relationship. When you treat everyone with respect, be fair and be open to answering any questions, people you work with will remember you as a good recruiter, help build your company brand and develop client relations.