How to Filter (possibly) talented candidates for recruitment process in a tech startup


What are the good caps (like in terms of certain grades/marks, projects etc) that a tech startup could apply on the candidates applying for a job. Support there are lots of job seekers and we don't have time to look into all the CVs, so how to ease the process of filtering.

PS: To be clear the context of this question is oncampus recruitment.


asked Aug 4 '11 at 22:41
Atul Goyal
496 points
  • Is this question more suited for stackoverflow / programmers ? – Atul Goyal 13 years ago
  • Agreed with the above. – User9968 13 years ago
  • While the specificity to programmers might make it a better candidate elsewhere, extrapolating to other areas (i.e. asking about how to evaluate those with no experience in general) has value to any start-up looking to hire. – Elie 13 years ago

2 Answers


Rather than the cap rate ask the candidate to write a cover letter that explains why they want to work for you and why you should hire them.

The cover letter is a lot more easier to read than a CV and their personality really shines through. In addition a number of candidate don't make the effort to write it, or write a perfunctory one, or can't write at all and you can immediately filter them out.

Admittedly you are looking for programmers and not writers but someone who makes the effort to write a halfway decent cover letter customized for your organization is certainly more committed than someone who doesn't. He or she is also less likely to decline an offer when it is made.

answered Aug 5 '11 at 00:50
Finance Mentor
688 points


As Finance Mentor said - don't undervalue the cover letter. Someone who just hands out resumes and waits for a call is probably not worth the effort.

However, during job fairs and the like, it is quite reasonable to get a resume without a cover letter - and that should not count against the candidate. For such candidates, where all you have is a resume, look for the following:

  • Spelling errors - yes, you aren't looking for English majors, but if the applicant clearly did not run their resume through spell check, then that indicates a lack of attention to detail, and a lack of pride in their work;
  • Side projects - working for a start-up, the candidate will be expected to wear many hats, and having a side project, however small, would have given them some experience with that type of job;
  • Course diversity - same as the previous point, with the types of courses (elective) being indicative of the candidate's academic preferences;

Using those items as a scoring system, you should be able to quickly sort the resumes, and then start reading carefully from the top of the pile until you find a candidate that matches.

answered Aug 5 '11 at 01:12
4,692 points

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