Help Your Recruiter, Help You!
There appears to be a huge derivation in resumes, resume writing and resume advice. Sometimes this advice helps your Recruiter, and sometimes the advice makes your Recruiter’s (or potential Recruiter’s) life very challenging.
The mission of these pointers is to help your Recruiter, help you!
1. Remove all columns, headers & footers...even page numbers
The electronic medium has definitely changed how we strive to quickly communicate in limited time and space. Though every HR Director and Recruiter may have different preferences on what they might be looking for quickly, here is a short list of the items that can help a Recruiter focus on getting you the job, versus the mundane details.
Yes, surprisingly headers and footers can drive a Recruiter insane. They do not translate well, and they take time to remove from one document to place into the letterhead of a recruiting firm. Footers such as page numbers and dates have to be manually deleted. Columns or tables will send a Recruiter into orbit. All this takes up valuable recruiting time.
2. Your first and last name only
Initials are fine, yet only important if you either go by your middle name, or your name is so common it is a good deciphering factor amongst the other individuals with your name. Be careful placing hyphenated names or lengthy European names on your resume. Generally recruiting software programs are unable to figure out the “last name”, making it difficult for the recruiter to relocate you in the system.
3. Physical location
If you feel uncomfortable on placing your entire address, at minimal, place your city, state and zip code. This will allow the recruiter to see if you are in close proximity to the job opportunity. It does not mean you would be overlooked if you have the viable set of skills and you live far from the location. It only means that a recruiter understands this could be an issue for you . . . or it may not be an issue. Plus, if there is relocation necessary, this piece of information needs to be presented to the client. If you decide not to disclose your approximate location on your resume, the question will still be asked, which will lend a bit of concern on what other issues may be lurking on the other side of the paper.
4. Phone numbers
If a recruiter cannot get ahold of you, sometimes quickly, you could be overlooked. With smart phones allowing you to block individuals, feel free to place a reachable number on your resume. To-date, I have no knowledge of being blocked. I respect all requests and immediately discontinue contact. If you find yourself in contact with a persistent Recruiter, just block their number.
5. Personal information
Personal information such as ethnicity, age, marital status, gender, number of kids, hobbies, and volunteer events . . . just do not include this. It will not aid or take away from your ability to do the job or to obtain the interview. Save the ink, and allow your recruiter to focus on what is important, your education and/or experience.
Objectives are good if they are objective versus subjective. This is why they are called an “Objectives”(get it?). For example, here is an objective statement:
“Seeking a position as a Quality Engineer in the petrochemical/chemical environment where my education, technical and continuous manufacturing experience can be utilized in improving production processes.”
Below is a subjective objective; meaning, it is difficult to test, determine and quantify. Though it is nice to know, it is not helpful in determining if you are a viable candidate.
“I am a dedicated and innovative individual and certain that I will prove an immediate asset where technical competence and perseverance required.”
Recruiters not only search for skill sets, they are also searching for industry specific skills as well. If a recruiter does not know what your company manufactured, serviced or performed, and you do not mention it in your skills, then you might be overlooked. Help your Recruiter see the wealth of your talents by listing your industries, titles and roles within your resume.
7. Missing dates
When a client requests five to ten years of experience in Skill A, and fifteen years of Skill B, a Recruiter must be able to find this experience within your resume. When responding to a client, it may look like this:
“Candidate John Smith has ten years of experience with Skill A because he worked at company A for seven years and Company B for three years performing these duties.”
It does not look like this:
“Candidate John Smith has ten years of experience with Skill A because he said so.”
Make sure your resume is chronological, with the most recent position on the top of the resume. It is crucial in evaluating your skills for the job.
8. Length of resume
One of the new fashionable items is to have a one page resume. Ok, that works if you want to list name, location, small objective, core competencies, education and one small job.
Consider every ten years of experience for one page of resume. Attempt to keep your resume no longer than three pages. If you have been in the workforce for ten years, try a one to two page resume dependent on the number of jobs and skills attained. Twenty years of experience? Try two to three pages. Thirty years of experience? Three to four pages and so on.
If you start typing on page four or five, ask yourself, is it really viable what you did in the 1970’s, and are these viable skills?
These recommendations can help your recruiter focus on the job at hand, your skills, how they fit in their open job bank, and how to present you to a client. All great things for your next career move.