resume screening software

How does resume screening software work? Complete guide

Most resumes are sent to the employer’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or resume parsing software when candidates apply through job portals or corporate websites. Companies use automated resume screening software to evaluate and sort resumes for the majority of openings in order to speed up the process. The days of recruiters sifting through resumes searching for the perfect fit are long gone. To select the top resumes, they use applicant tracking systems, employment websites, and even in-house firm software. According to the career services business, Preptel, three-fourths of the resumes fail to pass the automated resume screening because they lack the skills that employers want to see.

By scanning resumes for the best and most efficient hiring, ATS and other technologies are made to simplify the jobs of recruiters and hiring managers. The vast volume of resumes received for most occupations results in numerous unqualified candidates based on the filters set up in the automated resume screening software. To save time and effort for both recruiters and hiring managers, this approach screens the resumes so they may concentrate only on qualified prospects.

What is resume screening software?

Resume screening software, often referred to as candidate screening software or resume parsing software, is a digital tool designed to assist recruiters and hiring managers in the initial stages of the candidate selection process. It automates the review and evaluation of resumes and job applications submitted by candidates for various positions within an organization. The resume screening tool is a part of the Applicant Tracking System(ATS).

Types of Resume Screening Software

1. ATS

Integration with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a critical feature of automated resume screening software. ATS is a software application that helps organizations manage their recruitment process by organizing, tracking, and storing candidate information and job postings. Automated resume screening software and ATS systems are integrated so that data can flow seamlessly between them. This integration allows for a smooth transfer of candidate information and job requisitions. When a candidate applies for a job, their resume and application details are initially captured by the ATS. The ATS then forwards this information to the automated resume screening software for the initial screening process. As candidates progress through the recruitment process, their status and information are automatically updated in both systems. Recruiters can view screening results and other relevant data directly within the ATS interface. Greenhouse, JazzHR, Bullhorn, and SmartRecruiters are some examples of ATS software.

2. Standalone Resume Parsers

Standalone resume parsers are specialized software applications designed solely for the purpose of parsing and extracting information from resumes. Unlike integrated parsers found within Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or other recruitment software, standalone parsers are dedicated tools focused exclusively on resume processing.  Candidates submit their resumes in various formats, such as PDF, Word documents, or plain text, to a standalone resume parser. This can be done through email, a web form, or by uploading files. It scans the document to identify and extract specific data points, including personal information, work experience, education, skills, and contact details. The parser converts the extracted information into a structured format, such as JSON or XML, which can be easily processed and stored in a database or integrated with other recruitment systems. RChilli is an example of a standalone resume parser.

3. Resume AI Software

Resume AI software, also known as AI-powered resume screening or resume parsing software, is a technology-driven tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze and evaluate resumes. Candidates submit their resumes to AI-powered software, often through a company’s career website, email, or applicant tracking system (ATS). Resume AI software analyzes the content of resumes to identify keywords and phrases related to the job opening. These keywords are often predefined by the hiring organization and are used to assess the candidate’s suitability for the position. The software matches the extracted information and keywords against the job requirements and qualifications. Each resume is assigned a score or ranking based on the degree of match. Ducknowl is an example of AI resume software.

How recruiters use automated resume screening

Recruiter recruiters use tools such as ATS or a specific resume screening tool to examine and sort the resumes. Employers can use this software to sort resumes according to the job description by adding keywords and other criteria. Here is how these programs are employed:

1. Keyword search

Whenever recruiters manually review resumes, they search for specific keywords. Recruiters enter these keywords within the resume screening software, and the program shows the resumes that match the keywords. To make filtering simple and controllable, recruiters can enter keywords for the skills, experience level, location, and education to see what resumes match the most. It enables recruiters to compile data for their database and filter applications to locate the best applicant. After finding matching resumes, recruiters start the next step of the interviewing process which includes calling them and conducting skill interviews or video interviews.

2. Obtaining Structured Data

Using tools for resume parsing, structured data such as job history, education, preferred location, skills, and degree can be extracted. Because of this, it is easier for recruiters to identify the top candidates. The process becomes more difficult as the number of applicants increases because different writing styles can be used to spell the same company or university names seeking professional ghostwriting services can ensure consistent and effective communication. A group-named entity organizes unstructured content into predetermined categories, such as names of specific people, associations with other names, locations, and so forth, based on context, ultimately organizing the data in an easy-to-read format.

3. Resume Sorting

Recruiters can set custom filters within the ATS to further refine the sorting process. These filters may include specific years of experience, education levels, or certifications. Resumes are ranked or scored based on how closely they align with the defined criteria. Resumes with higher scores or rankings are considered better matches for the job. Sorted resumes are stored in a candidate database within the ATS. Recruiters can easily access this database to review sorted resumes, search for specific candidates, or consider applicants for future job openings.

Advantages of using resume screening software

1. Time efficiency

Time efficiency refers to the ability to complete tasks or processes quickly and with minimal wasted time. In the context of using resume screening software, time efficiency is one of its key advantages. Resume screening software can process a large volume of resumes in a relatively short amount of time, especially when compared to manual screening by human recruiters. Automated screening algorithms can quickly identify candidates who meet the specified criteria, helping recruiters identify potential matches for job openings without delay.  By automating the initial resume screening process, HR teams can free up valuable time and resources to concentrate on more strategic and high-value aspects of the recruitment process, such as interviewing and candidate engagement.

2. Managing large volume

Managing a large volume refers to the ability to effectively handle a high number of job applications, resumes, or candidates. This can be a challenge for organizations with a high volume of job openings or a large applicant pool. Handling a large volume allows organizations to tap into a broader and more diverse talent pool, increasing the chances of finding qualified candidates. Efficiently managing a high volume of applicants can lead to faster recruitment cycles, reducing time-to-fill positions. It ensures that candidates receive timely responses and feedback, improving their overall experience with the organization. Managing a large volume doesn’t mean compromising on the thoroughness of screening- It’s crucial to maintain rigorous evaluation standards while processing a high number of resumes.

3. Keyword matching

Keyword matching refers to the technique of identifying and selecting documents or resumes that contain specific keywords or phrases relevant to a particular job or search query.  Resume screening software uses algorithms to scan and analyze resumes or documents for specific keywords or key phrases provided by the user. These keywords are often related to job qualifications, skills, experience, or other relevant criteria.  When a resume contains the specified keywords or closely related terms, the keyword matching algorithm considers it relevant to the job opening or search query. Relevant resumes are typically ranked based on the frequency and context of keyword matches. Resumes with the closest keyword matches or those with the most relevant contextual usage of keywords may be ranked higher.

Keyword matching is an efficient way to filter through a large volume of resumes or documents, helping recruiters or search engines quickly identify potentially suitable candidates or content. Users can customize the list of keywords to match specific job requirements or search criteria. This customization ensures that the screening process aligns with the organization’s needs. While keyword matching is efficient, it has limitations. It may not account for synonyms, variations in terminology, or the broader context of a candidate’s skills and qualifications. Relying too heavily on keyword matching can result in overlooking qualified candidates who use different phrasing.

4. Reduced workload

Efforts to reduce workloads may involve process optimization, task delegation, automation of repetitive tasks through technology, and effective time management. In the context of recruitment and human resources, technology tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) and resume screening software can significantly contribute to reducing the workload of HR professionals by automating various administrative and repetitive tasks, allowing them to concentrate on higher-value activities in the talent acquisition process. When individuals or teams have a reduced workload, they can allocate more time and attention to each task, which often results in increased efficiency and improved task completion rates. With more time and attention available for each task, individuals can produce higher-quality work, make fewer errors, and achieve better outcomes.

5. Consistency

Consistency is a fundamental advantage of using resume screening software. It ensures that all resumes are evaluated objectively and uniformly, helping organizations make more informed and fair hiring decisions while also streamlining the recruitment process. However, it’s essential to periodically review and refine the criteria used by the software to ensure that they align with the evolving needs of the organization.

Disadvantages of using resume screening software

1. Lack of context

“Lack of context” is a significant disadvantage associated with the use of resume screening software in the recruitment process. It refers to the software’s limitation in understanding the broader context, nuances, and qualitative aspects of a candidate’s qualifications and experiences, primarily relying on quantitative data and keyword matching.

2. Keyword Overemphasis

It refers to overreliance on specific keywords or phrases when evaluating resumes. When recruiters place excessive importance on exact keyword matches, they may overlook candidates who possess the required skills and qualifications but use different terminology or phrasing in their resumes. This can result in the rejection of potentially suitable candidates.  Keyword overemphasis can lead to a narrowed candidate pool, limiting the diversity of applicants considered for a position.

3. False negatives

It refers to a situation in which resume screening software incorrectly identifies or categorizes a candidate as not meeting the qualifications or requirements for a job when, in fact, they do possess the necessary qualifications. In other words, a “false negative” occurs when the software mistakenly rejects a potentially suitable candidate. False negatives result in qualified and potentially excellent candidates being excluded from the hiring process. This can lead to the loss of top talent that could contribute significantly to the organization.

4. Complexity and cost

“Complexity and cost” are significant disadvantages associated with the use of resume screening software in the recruitment process. Setting up and implementing resume screening software can be a complex process. It often requires integration with existing HR systems and databases, customization to match the organization’s specific needs, and training for HR professionals and users.

How resume screening is changing the game for recruiters

High expectations. Increasing quarterly recruiting and onboarding goals. Recruiters encounter challenges on a daily, around every corner.  Sometimes, their management doesn’t always enable them with the tools they need to meet these higher expectations. Professionals can’t just settle for average HR tips. They need cutting-edge of technology to facilitate and ease the pains of their recruitment process. Today, that cutting edge is in resume screening technology.

1. Finding the Right Candidates through resume screening

Resume screening software cuts most of the bulk of time-consuming work out of the equation. It’s easier than ever for applicants to respond to every job listing with a few clicks, leaving recruiters with the daunting task of sorting through hundreds of resumes of varying relevance. Resume screening software puts an initial filter on that huge applicant group, enabling recruiters to focus on the best-qualified applicants. They need new tools to meet heightened goals.

2. The Ducknowl Difference

Choosing Ducknowl means recruiters have a clear view of their best-qualified applicants from one platform. Using our customizable resume criteria and keyword weighting,  recruiters create a focused pool of highly qualified candidates to whom they can give individual attention. Across the board, recruitment is often a race against time. For our users, it’s a simple, focused search for the best talent. Paired with video interview screening and skill assessments, recruitment boils down to prioritizing your time all on one dashboard.

3. Your Time is Valuable

Unfortunately, many people in search of simple human resources tips find programs that might be useful in theory but are impractical in the fast-paced environment of a modern recruiter’s office. That is why it was so important to us that we build the Ducknowl platform that is as reliable as it is navigable. After all, if you are looking for ways to save time, spending hours learning new software starts to feel counterproductive. We value your time as much as you do, which is why our platform is so intuitive and user-friendly.

Given how recruiters’ quotas rise every quarter, every HR department interested in empowering their employees is on the hunt for the next powerful tool to make their team more efficient. Today, that tool is Ducknowl. We believe that the best resumes should get individual attention from recruiters. If you do too, find out firsthand just what we can do for you. To schedule, a brief demo click here.


In conclusion, resume screening software, often integrated into Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), plays a pivotal role in modern recruitment processes. Recruiters define specific criteria and qualifications for a job opening, including keywords, skills, experience, and education requirements. Resumes submitted by candidates are automatically scanned and parsed by the software, extracting relevant information and structuring it for analysis. This technology-driven approach not only streamlines the recruitment process but also ensures a more objective and consistent screening process. It helps organizations efficiently handle large volumes of resumes, identify top candidates swiftly, and enhance the overall effectiveness of their hiring efforts. Resume screening software is a valuable tool that aligns recruitment with the demands of the digital age, making the process more efficient, fair, and candidate-centric. Nowadays video interviewing software has made it easier to take interviews remotely and is convenient for both recruiters and candidates.

Read More:- Top benefits of video interviewing

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