12 Quick and Easy Tricks to Filter Bad Resumés

Having a budget and time constraint doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality candidates. These tips instantly separate the good from the bad.

A. Ask Everyone You Know for a Recommendation


The best way to find great employees is to have someone recommend them. It's also the fastest way to screen for people. - Thomas Cullen, LaunchPad Lab

A. Invest in Software


Most recruiters have software (like RecruiterBox) that mines resumés looking for keywords, experience and qualifications, and unlike the human eye, the software will not be tricked by a resumé that has been formatted creatively. If you prefer to mine the data manually, make sure that the resumés that you have mirror the job description. If they don't, chuck them. - Cody McLain, SupportNinja

A. Only Post on Quality Platforms


In addition to asking for a specific qualification or skillset (e.g. an Ivy League college), you may also choose to only post on very specific job forums or platforms where you know quality candidates are more likely to be present. Likewise, you can also make the application process tedious: "please include a transcript and three references," etc. to cut back on the number of less committed applicants. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

A. Look for Accomplishments Instead of Duties


I don't want to hire someone with a gofer mentality. I want someone who views their experience in terms of their own accomplishments. Although an applicant can apply this trick to make their resumé look better, at the very least I want them to show me that they're aware we're looking for someone who generates results that meet our needs. A resumé that reads like a list of tasks should be tossed. - Jared Brown, Hubstaff

A. Test Their Attention to Detail


When posting the job, ask candidates to submit their resumés via email using a subject line you put in the body of the job posting. If the candidate doesn't read the entire job post, then they are probably only applying because they need a job -- not because something about your company attracted them. This will help you distinguish those who pay attention. - Lane Campbell, June

A. Send Them a Test


Before even going through the resumés, send them all a test that will require them to jump through some hoops. You'll immediately know who's REALLY interested in the job and is willing to go the extra mile. You can also use the results of the test to get an idea of the quality of the applicant's work. - Marcela DeVivo, National Debt Relief

A. Double-Check With LinkedIn


I've had countless surprises when comparing LinkedIn profiles to someone's resumé. Often the dates of employment, duties, title and employers were different than noted. Grammar could be shockingly different too, which often reflects that someone wrote their resumé, but they did their own profile. - Josh Sprague, Orange Mud

A. Know Exactly What You Want


Employers don't always define the exact skills and qualifications required, the problems they need solved, what is absolutely essential and what is nice to have. By clearly articulating what you want, you can screen resumés for key skills (and not get distracted by nice-to-haves). - Alan Carniol, Interview Success Formula

A. Ask About a Unique Factor


The quickest way to separate the strong candidates from the weak is to require them to describe what makes them unique. Strong candidates will take this question seriously and use it as an opportunity to stand out and dazzle the hiring manager. - Abby Ross, ThinkCERCA

A. Have Unspoken Criteria


Whenever we put up a job posting, I never ask for a cover letter. However, our field is made up of writers, so if someone doesn't take an extra few minutes to write one that explains why they are specifically interested in working with us, I don't even look at their resumé. - Lindsay Mullen, Prosper Strategies

A. Create a Relevant Filter


When I was looking for contractors for a web project, I would send them a completely overbearing NDA that absolutely no one should sign. If they signed it, they were not considered. This resulted in a smaller number of candidates that I knew actually took the time to review what I would send and immediately established some level of trust. Create a filter for what you consider most important. - Douglas Hutchings, Picasolar

A. Know Your Buzzwords


Know in advance what words are important to your business and your needs, and scan for those. If you see them, then it's worth a second look. If you don't then it might imply they either lack the experience you need, the understanding of the role you're hiring for or the interest in what you want them to do. - Avi Levine, Digital Professional Institute

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.