We love to help!

How to screen CV’s effectively

In 2020 there were approximately 506 applications per job for entry-level work and 56 applications for high-skilled work according to Stand Out CV. You might not necessarily be receiving that volume of CV’s but more than a handful can make it important to work out how to screen CV’s effectively.

Why screen CV’s at all?

One of the main reasons to screen CV’s is simply time. It is an employee-led market at present and it does mean that you will receive a range of CV’s that aren’t necessarily what you expect for your role. When that’s the case, having a checklist of what to filter against will save you time and make sure you don’t miss out on a ‘good egg’.

If you’re in an organisation where you are leading on recruitment alongside your day job, screening can help to save you time and call in extra resources at the interview stage rather than before.

Not only that but it can help you filter in candidates that seem a good culture fit for your business. And by focusing on keywords related to skills and experience you can ensure an unbiased selection process too.

How to screen CV’s effectively 

So hopefully we’ve highlighted the benefits of screening CV’s effectively but how do you do it? Firstly, we’d recommend looking beyond the recruitment red flags of years gone by and instead focus on:

  • Your job description. Can you highlight key skills or phrases that you would like to see on an applicant’s CV? Having this list to hand will help you screen candidates more quickly and ensure they meet your requirements too.
  • Having a checklist to hand. Tick off what each candidate is meeting potentially even with a high to low scoring criteria.
  • Creating a yes/no/maybe pile. Depending on how your screening goes you might find the yes pile rather low. If you’ve got your checklist to hand you can save yourself time by picking your highest scoring potentials to review again.
  • The culture fit. Is there anything in the tone of the CV that might make you consider the applicant? Or not?

What else can make the process of screening CV’s easier? 

If you’re on a growth trajectory or know you have a number of posts coming up to fill then it might be worth investing in software. Applicant tracking software can take the strain from you and your team but isn’t always cost-effective.

Another option might be looking at assessments alongside CV’s. Whether this is a test of English or technical skill you need or more questions that align to your company’s culture this can help you move applicants to the next stage more easily.

Finally, we would also recommend a good recruitment consultancy such as ourselves. Screening CV’s is part of our day to day whereas we appreciate that you might do this less regularly. We also have the time to speak to candidates as well as review their CV’s to give you a range of ‘good eggs’. Have a chat with Nicola at or Annette at to learn more about how we screen CVs effectively.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for resources and updates!