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Increase Your Chances of Being Screened Into Employment

The Employer Screening Process

Employers post available jobs to the public in a variety of ways; online, in a trade magazine, on their website etc. Job seekers complete applications or submit resumes in an effort to respond to various job postings. In today’s market, with the high employment rates, employers are receiving double and triple the amount of responses to job postings. For example, a company may only have 5 job openings, however may receive 1000 job applications or resumes in response. Finding 5 job matches out of 1000 job applications could be compared to “finding a needle in a haystack.”

Why do employers screen people out of jobs?

It is absolutely impossible for a hiring manager to continue to complete their daily duties as well as interview every job applicant in the timeframe allocated to hire an employee. If interviewing was the only responsibility of the hiring manager, it doesn’t make good business sense to interview every applicant. Screening is necessary to discard all applicants that do not meet the established hiring criteria.

How do employers determine which job candidates are worth getting a second look?

First, every employer has a criteria set for each job. That criterion usually consists of a job description which lists job duties and responsibilities, required skills and education and the tasks associated with the job. Second, each employer has established the salary for the position, the hours for the position, and whether background, credit and being drug and/or alcohol free are requirements. This is considered additional screening and generally happens if a job offer is going to be extended.

How can I increase my chance of getting screened into a position?

Increasing your chance of getting screened into a position begins with understanding why screening is necessary and then learning to complete an application the correct way, developing a professional resume, improving your telephone skills and improving your interviewing skills. Employers screen you out of a position and you make a series of first impressions. First impression # 1 is the Application or Resume. First impression #2 is the telephone screening. First impression #3 is the interview.


The resume doubles as an initial application to a specific position. A resume however, does not take the place of a formal application. When developing a resume, remember to use “buzz” words specific to the job that you are applying for. Some employers utilize data mining software to screen online applications. Data mining allows Human Resource managers to utilize the software to screen potential candidates into open positions. This is done by setting parameters in the software to pick up on the “buzz” words relative to experience and job requirements. Resumes are scored and the highest scores are identified and given to the hiring manager. Investing in having a resume professionally developed can increase your chance of getting screened in.


First, the application is used as a communication tool and is utilized by managers to either screen you in or out of a particular position. Second, the application establishes the trust between you and the employer, and is used to complete the due diligence; otherwise known as the background, reference and credit checks. An application is usually required even if you submit a resume. Managers screen you in or out based on the appearance of your application and how you complete your application; whether it is complete or incomplete and how you answer position, pay and time available for work. Always complete your application accurately and honestly.


Many people don’t think about the telephone when it comes to job search, however, the telephone is how most employers will contact potential employees. If you are currently seeking employment you want to consider the following information.

1. Select appropriate ringback tones. A ringback tone is the music that a caller hears when they dial your number. Some cell phone service providers offer ringback tones as a part of their cellular service. Inappropriate ringback tones can send the wrong message to a potential employer. Selecting an appropriate ringback tone can be challenging however to be safe, the music should be non-offensive to any potential caller. Ringback tones that only have music without words are your best bet.

2. Change your voicemail greeting. Your voicemail greeting should be professional and should never include music in the background. If ring back tones are a part of your cell phone service, set them to play after business hours.

3. Established Telephone Service. If your phone gets disconnected, the employer can’t contact you. You should make every effort to keep your phone service connected during your job search. If you have changed your telephone number or address, you need to change the information on your resume before continuing with your job search. Using a message number only works if #1 and #2 are followed. You should also make sure you are checking with the person whose number you used to retrieve your messages.

Filling a job opening is time sensitive; therefore, when an employer is looking for a potential employee, it is imperative that they are able to make the contact in a timely manner. Employers will not waste their time trying to track you down, they will simply move to the next applicant in the stack.


The interview is the third and final impression that you make to an employer. This is where the employer either confirms or dispels what they see on paper. You will be evaluated on your appearance, punctuality, communication skills, eye contact, presentation skills and posture. The interview is your opportunity to “close the sale”

Take some time to consider the information and evaluate the areas in which you could use some assistance. Self-evaluation is often a great first step in increasing your chances in obtaining employment.

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