At first thought, receiving a large number of CVs sounds like a good thing, that is, until you have to start going through them all. However, there is an simple method to assess CVs, and we'll show you how.

Before you start, review the job description and start to define what it is you exactly want by putting together two lists: essentials and desirables. Keep in mind that you need to be strict about what you define as essential and that there will usually be twice as many desirables as essentials.

Stage One

Once you have your lists of criteria, scan through the CV's and discard any that don't meet the essentials; just by doing this you will make it much more manageable.

Stage Two

Go through the remaining CVs and score them against your list of essentials. An easy way to do this would be candidate A has 3/5 of the essentials, candidate C has 4/5, and so on. This is also a good time to look for any inconsistencies in the presentation of their CV, such as spelling errors and grammar.

Stage Three

At this stage, you will now have a ordered list of candidates, all of whom will be able to do the fundamentals of the job. Go on to score them against your list of desirables, as this is where you will start to see who can benefit your company more.

After these 3 stages of refinement, you will have a much smaller pile of CVs and a greater understanding of how well each candidate is suited to the role. You can now go on to looking into the candidates' social profiles and references.

Things to Consider:

  • It may be unlikely you will find a candidate that matches your criteria 100%
  • Try not to overemphasise the format or writing style of the CV, look for the quality of the content
  • Gaps in employment are not necessarily a negative, but excessive number of jobs in a short time & the period of time spent in the job are
  • If there is a career/industry pattern or a random collection of jobs
  • Try to respond to each application even if it is an automated email