The Recruiting Nightmare #6 – Here Comes The Resume Storm

Some recruiters don’t get enough resumes.  I’m not going to cover that, because that’s part of the larger problem of finding people.

Some recruiters get the right amount of resumes.  Great for them.

Then there’s the resume storm, where a flurry of potential employees floods some poor recruiter’s inbox, website, profile, whatever.  Then this “fortunate” person with “many” options has to sort through them.

This is another part of the challenges facing modern recruiting. 

In my experience, this isn’t as common as people may think – but it’s still a part of being a recruiter, an an annoying part at that.  How do you search through all those resumes and find the right people?

This isn’t any easier because I can pretty much guarantee a lot of the resumes aren’t that great, at least organizationally.  Then there’s the cover letters that vary from nonexistent to wonderful to literary piles of self-confident bombast.  Recruiters who get stuck in resume storms have to sort through all of this.

Sounds fun?  No, not really.

It’s worse when you realize the people doing the search also have had to find ways to get the posts up, understand the position, communicate the position, and in general try to know what the hell is going on.  Then they have to analyze the rush of resumes which is going to take time, raise more questions, and require them to think on their feet (and think like those who want those positions filled).

Also if you messed anything up, if the posting got the wrong people, or you were unlucky that people went “TLDR, send resume” then there’s a chance that flood is going to yield barely any results.  In fact, with all the mess dropped in your lap, you may actually miss good people.

Plus at the end of each resume is an actual person who’s probably, by the odds, not getting the job.  That’s no fun.

So even if you get a flood of resumes, there’s no chance they’re what you need, you still have to sort through them, and you’re going to end up rejecting a lot of people anyway.



  • I always recommend “when in doubt, send your resume” but seriously, show compassion and don’t go spamming.  There’s a fine line at times, learn it for the sake of recruiters.
  • Because you may get caught in a resume storm, look for ways to stand out  and “do the recruiter’s job for them.”  Make sure you are not just noticeable, but make sure you detail experiences, communicate what you can do, to make the recruiters job easier.


  • If a recruiter you work with needs help sorting through resumes, for goodness sake help out.  It’s a pain.
  • Help recruiters you work with or know find the little indicators to help them sort through resumes – what is an “immediate no”, what is a “maybe,” etc.


  • I always hear about resume scanning software, and I’m still not convinced it’s working as well as intended.  It’d be nice to see what else can be done.
  • If you work at a recruiting company, on a company website, etc. it’d be neat to integrate those little “finishers” that immediately drop – or accept – people.  I actually like the sites where you have to answer a few questions to weed out the “TLDR people.”

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at