What is Resume Screening? Definition, Process, and Challenges.

Over 250 resumes come in for a single job opening. So, imagine the tedious process of going through all these applications and seeing how many of them are pretty unqualified ones. Might become frustrating! 

This is where resume screening can make the lives of recruiters easy. Let’s see what it is all about. 

What is Resume Screening?  

Resume Screening is the process of identifying whether a candidate is qualified for the job role based on their education, experience, certificates, achievements, skills, and other information on their resume. Resume screening aims to decide whether this candidate is fit to move forward, perhaps to the interview stage, or to be rejected.  

Resume screening saves recruiters time during the hiring and sourcing process. It leads to faster onboarding of new employees. Resume screening can help you in identifying top and suitable candidates for the job. It helps in narrowing the list of candidates by removing unqualified candidates and shortlisting eligible ones. It can be done manually or by using resume screening software that uses artificial intelligence.  

The Resume Screening Process: Steps  

Step 1: Resume screening based on minimum qualifications 

Screening of resumes is usually done based on the role’s minimum qualifications. These qualifications are related to the ones required in performing the job and are mentioned in the job description. They are the mandatory qualifications or minimum benchmarks that a candidate must have to do a job. They are the ‘must-have’ experiences, education, achievements, skills, etc. 

For example, if the employer wants the candidate to have a set number of years of work experience, resumes that do not show them are discarded.  

Candidates that meet these minimum qualifications are moved forward to the second step of the screening process. If they don’t meet any one of those qualifications, they are eliminated.  

Step 2: Resume screening based on preferred qualifications 

Preferred qualifications are the non-mandatory qualifications that would make someone a stronger and preferred candidate over the others. These qualifications are considered as ‘nice-to-haves’ or ‘happy-to-haves’. These qualifications are an added advantage as they enhance the performance of the candidate.  

Examples of preferred qualifications include:  

  • Communication skills 
  • Leadership skills 
  • Critical thinking skills  
  • Logical thinking skills 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to work with a team 
  • Time management skills 
  • Strong work ethic. 

Candidates that meet both the minimum and preferred qualifications are taken to the next step in the resume screening process.  

Step 3: Shortlisting candidates based on the minimum and preferred qualifications 

Shortlisting of the candidates will be based on the recruiting needs of the organization. Assess your needs before making the final call.  

For example, in high volume recruiting or mass recruiting all candidates that meet the minimum qualifications move forward to the interview phase. In low volume recruitment or hiring for a specific role, only the top few candidates that meet both the minimum and preferred qualifications are taken forward to the next level.  

Step 4: Checking the applicant’s information 

Once the list of applicants is finalized, it is important to check the accuracy of the remaining information on the resumes of the candidates.  

Here are a few things to look for in resumes:  

  • Unprofessional resumes that have many spellings and grammatical or factual mistakes must be discarded. Candidates that prepare accurate resumes show attention to detail and quality.  
  • Evidence of job-hopping.  
  • Gaps between jobs.  

The Challenges in Resume Screening 

Let’s see what challenges recruiters face when screening resumes. 


The biggest challenge in resume screening is volume. It is time-consuming to go through all the resumes that are submitted. An average job opening receives over 250 resumes and around 88% of them are considered unqualified. This is why there is always a high time to fill percentage in many organizations. Using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help in organizing all the resumes that were received. There are resume screening features in many applicant tracking systems. They work on a keyword search model where you give different keywords into the system for a role and it will scan the resume for the present. This can increase the chances of exploitation. Candidates can stuff their resumes with keywords to pass the resume screening test even if they are not qualified. This leaves out the totally capable and proficient ones.  

Quality of Hire 

Different organizations use different ways to determine whether a hire is up to the mark. While an ATS can help in reducing the resume volume, it does not have the features to measure the Quality of Hire. This requires recruiters to adopt different software tools that help them in measuring this important KPI. There are more advanced resume screening tools like resume screening machine learning or artificial intelligence resume screening which will help achieve the desired quality.  


The number of resumes that an organization would receive per job opening will only increase with time. Resume screening can make the lives of recruiters easier. It allows recruiters to check the backgrounds of candidates and determine whether they are suitable for the job.  

AviaHire’s Applicant Tracking System helps you in your resume screening process. We help you in the efficient evaluation, segregation, and selection of top-scoring resumes automatically using advanced algorithms. It also allows parsing resumes automatically from within emails. With advanced filters, one can also narrow their search by selecting the skills that are required. To know more about our Applicant Tracking System, do check out our free demo

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Hanan Ashraf
A strong believer in the power that words have over people, Hanan works on producing content that is creative but at the same time graspable for readers. A content writer and digital marketing intern, she loves to write about automation, HR, performance management, and employee wellbeing.