When an open position at your company is advertised and resumes start coming at your desk, it can be overwhelming to decide which applicants to contact for the next step. How do you decide which applicants to follow up with?

The aim of going through resumes is to find applicants that will be a good fit for your company. These are the applicants you should contact for phone screening or an interview. Below are some tips on what you should look for in resumes to get the most qualified applicants.

1) Relevant Skills

Look for skills that your ideal hire should possess. The skillset of an applicant defines their marketability.

The candidate should highlight these skills on the resume and indicate how he or she used them in their previous professional life. Also, check for applicants with any specific certifications or licenses that are important for the position.

Hiring a candidate with the right skillset will significantly reduce training time and costs. You want to get an employee who will transition seamlessly into your organization. Hiring a candidate without the relevant skills can be expensive for your company.

2) Functional Experience

Look for well outlined descriptions of previous jobs and the duties that the applicant may have been doing in the organization.

In particular, look for applicants that may have experience in specific systems or process that may be crucial to the position. You may also want to consider the experience of applicants who may have worked as interns or volunteers in different organizations.

When scrutinizing the experience, check where the applicant got their experience form. Preferably, you want applicants who have been in companies that have the same working culture or that are in the same industry as your organization.

3) Employment History

You can determine the professional culture preference and how well the candidates will fit in your company by checking their employment history. Be on the lookout applicants who have had many short-term jobs to determine whether their “job hopping” depicts a negative trait.

In the past, applicants who changed jobs frequently were perceived as not being able to commit or keep their jobs. However, in some industries like technology, hopping around can simply be due to being given competitive offers.

Check the employment trend of the applicant. If the applicant has been switching to unrelated jobs over the years, it will not be easy to know his or her strong points.

However, if an applicant has been switching jobs in the same department or industry, this is usually a sign of progress. You might want to consider such an applicant.

4) Education

Not every applicant says the truth about their education in the application. Luckily, it is easy to verify educational and other credentials nowadays.

Look for applicants with the required level of education and in particular, those who studied the core courses that are crucial for the position that you are hiring. Depending on the position you are seeking to fill, you might be looking for candidate who has a number of certifications or experience in different areas.

5) Industry Experience

Industry experience is important but not always necessary. If an applicant can demonstrate that they understand the dynamics of your industry and have had success in solving related problems in their past professional experience, they can be a good fit for your organization.

If you have doubts about the eligibility of a candidate based on industry experience, you have a chance to interrogate them further during the interview.

The cumulative industry experience can determine how suitable the applicant is for your position. Check that the experience is complimenting the accomplishments that the applicant may have highlighted in the resume.

6) Measurable Accomplishments

Find out whether and how the applicant contributed to the success of their previous employers. Check out for backings of any buzzwords that the applicant used.

Any buzzwords like “accomplished”, “transformed” “managed” and the like should be backed by concrete measurement. Where applicable, look for dollar figures and percentages.

You want to see results highlighted in the resume. Facts and figures showing the impact or output that a company realized under the guidance of the applicant is crucial to evaluating accomplishments. If the applicant was working with a team, determine what specific role he or she played in the accomplishment.

7) Overall Look

The overall “look” and layout of the resume should make it easy for you to read the information. Check for things such as spelling errors and all-in-one resumes that are not fit for the position.

You want to look at resumes that are not longer than two pages and that have clearly outlined the roles, experience and notable accomplishments of the applicant when working with their previous employers.