Will My Job Resume Get Noticed?
One key avenue many people use to enhance their job search is to get their job resume into the hands of recruiters. For some people, using recruiters is their primary way of finding a new job. Recruiting firms are hired by companies to find the best match for the position they have open. Usually companies will use these recruiting firms to find candidates with more specific experience and specialized qualifications, although some companies use recruiters to fill all of their open positions, from executive to entry level candidates. Sometimes these companies will use several different recruiting firms to search for the same position if they need a candidate fast. In this case, the race is on to see which one can cross the finish line and find that perfect candidate first. Have you ever seen the same job posting several times by different companies? Most likely these are different recruiting firms that are hired by the same company trying to fill the same position.
Recruiters need to sort through hundreds of resumes for one opening and they need to do it quickly. Therefore, they don’t have a lot of time to spend on the details of your resume. There are specific things they look for. And they are all looking for roughly the same things. If it doesn’t stand out, then it will get put aside and never looked at again. Recruiters are trying to figure out quickly how your qualifications, experience, and education match the job posting they are trying to fill. If your resume doesn’t communicate quickly that your background matches the opening, then you’re dead in the water. Put yourself in the shoes of a company looking to hire the perfect candidate. One of the items listed below is Location. For example, if you have two candidates that are pretty well matched and one of them is in another state but the other one is local, which one are you more likely to choose? There would have to be something very special about the candidate that is in another state for you as a company to invest the extra money to get them to move to you.
Below are some of the top things that recruiters look for when your resume makes it into their hands:
Entry/Professional/Executive: Very rarely do candidates make the jump from one career level to the next in a new position hire situation. There are exceptions, but usually that happens inside the job position with a promotion. If a company is looking for an executive level candidate, recruiters are going to be looking for someone with executive level experience. Companies may consider candidates at a lower level if they have a very desirable or specific background, but again, it’s rare.
Type of Position: If your background doesn’t match the particular function of the position, then in most cases, they won’t consider you. If they are looking for an electrical engineer and you’re a mechanical engineer, then you’re going to be out of luck.
Location: As mentioned above. There are a lot of candidates out there and most companies are unwilling to relocate a candidate unless they have some very specific experience, or they are falling short on finding the right candidate in their local area.
Industry: If most of your experience is in the food industry and the position is in automotive, it’s unlikely that you’ll be considered over someone that has the required industry specific experience. A candidate successfully changing industries is probably more common than the previous example with changing levels, but it’s still rare and again examples are most likely limited to those with a specific desired skill set or experience.
Relevant Experience: If you’ve done engine design, but it was three positions/15 years ago, then a recruiter may not consider that to be as relevant as a candidate that has been doing engine design for the last 5 years. Most recruiters focus on the most recent work experience because it’s usually more relevant. If you were a company hiring for a position, you would too.
Relevant Education: If the company’s requirement for the position is a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, then that’s what the recruiter is going to be looking for. Companies are going to try and get the best bang for their buck and that’s what they expect the recruiter to find.
Number of Positions: There are many good reasons for a candidate having high turnover in their career, and that won’t stop you from obtaining a quality position if that is your situation. Recruiters are mostly looking for candidates that have had stable and steady work experience. Again, put yourself in the company’s shoes.
Resume format: With the things mentioned above that recruiters are looking for your resume needs to be in an easily readable format. Most recruiters suggest a chronological format because they can find the information they are looking for very quickly. It allows them to figure out if they should take a further look at your qualifications or not. There are specific cases where a different format can be used, but generally chronological is the way to go.
Quality: Consider this to be ‘everything else’. Things like formatting, font type, is it easy to read, language and grammar, spelling and punctuation, is it direct and to the point, does it communicate quickly what you offer or is it hard to figure out what you bring to the table. You may be the perfect candidate for the position and have all the right content in your resume, but if it’s difficult to read and decipher what kind of candidate you are, you will get overlooked.
Like it or not, companies use recruiters to find candidates for their positions. If you are going to use recruiting firms as another avenue for your job search, then paying attention to the above mentioned things will certainly help your resume get noticed. You should be paying attention to these things anyways, because Hiring Managers are going to be looking for the same things that Recruiters are.
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