What is Resume Parsing? Design, Features and Benefits

Jun 21, 2020 | Recruiting | 0 comments

As a recruiter or hiring manager, you likely receive many resumes from hopeful candidates each year. Rather than sorting through these manually, have you considered resume parsing? This can save you time and help you find the best candidates.

What Is Resume Parsing?

Resume parsing is the process of a machine taking resumes and turning them into resume data. It can transform any resume from an unstructured format into a structured one like an excel spreadsheet with certain fields. It takes written information and can put it under headings for easier reading and comparison.

How It Works

First of all, resume parsing starts with uploading the applications for the position you’re hiring for. After this has been done, the tool parses resumes uploaded to find the relevant information, based on what you’re looking for.

Then they take the information from the resumes and automatically segregate this into assigned fields. It chooses the fields that are most important to you as a recruiter. The common fields that HR professionals want that are included by most resume parsing software are:

  • Contact information
  • Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Job titles
  • Education
  • Professional memberships

The Benefits of Using a Resume Parser

Using resume parsing as part of your recruitment processes offers you many benefits. These include keeping the information in one spot, saving time, and the easily comparison of resumes.

All in One Place

Some resumes are received in person, via email, or as part of an application process. This can mean that you have some of them printed, on your computer, or in a recruitment software. That makes it tough to keep track of them all.

Many resume parsers are part of recruitment software that also offers an applicant tracking system. This keeps all of your applicant information in one place for easier access and organization. Using a resume parser can greatly simplify your processes.

Save Time

Using resume parsing software eliminates manual data entry when you receive resumes. Let one of these machine learning tools do all the work for you and you won’t have to keep retyping candidate information.

You can also avoid spending hours reading resumes. Instead, you can just scan the information in the resume parsing format to quickly see who has the right experience and who does not. You’ll be surprised how much time you save just by having the information organized for you.

Easy Comparison

When you have all of your candidate data in one place, this makes it much easier to compare resumes from different applicants. For example, you could go to the education column and take out anyone without a degree. The people you have left have the right qualification for the position. This is much easier than manually reading each one and looking for the section where it states the person’s qualifications.

The Challenges

Ambiguous Language

Resume parsing does not come without challenges. As people will each write in their own style, this language can be vague, making it hard to parse. That’s where selecting the right resume parser comes in. You must have one that is intelligent enough to pick up on the ambiguous language and interpret it successfully to place it in the right category.

Odd Job Titles

Another thing that many resume parsers struggle with is the weird and wonderful job titles that have become trendy in the past few years. Titles like ‘Data Ninja’ and ‘Sales Superstar’ do not lend themselves to being categorized effectively.

Formatting Concerns

Another potential issue with resume parsing when you select the wrong software is the format. Some parsers are not clever enough to read different formats effectively. An example of formatting that can cause issues is when a date is written. There are numerous ways of formatting dates, so this can be a problem. Another issue is when roles are listed out of chronological order.

What to Look for in A Resume Parser

There are a few things that you can look for in a resume parsing tool so that you get one that will work effectively to help you filter resumes.


When a tool focuses on keywords, this can help it to filter information more effectively. For example, the resume may not have a section titled ‘Experience’ but searching instead for the keyword ‘experience’ instead can be more useful. So, look for a tool which can filter by keyword.

Job Application System

If you choose a tool that is also a system where applicants can apply for jobs, this simplifies the parsing process. This can improve the candidate experience by providing a simple form where they can enter their work history. As the software is asking for information in a particular format this gets around the need to interpret resumes coming in many different formats. The parser can then do its job much more efficiently.

Return on Investment

When you’re considering getting a resume parsing tool, you need to ensure that you are getting a return on your investment (ROI). Likely, the more features the tool offers, the better it is for you. When you invest in a cheaper system, you may find that it simply doesn’t do the job. By spending a bit more, you could find that you get a much better ROI.

Now that you know about resume parsing, why are you wasting all that time going through endless resumes? Scrap the old school system of reading resumes and invest in a resume parsing software.

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