When your job entails looking at hundreds and thousands of resumes it can be easy to get a little cynical. Our job is to sort through the large numbers of resumes and weed out those that are not a fit. Just some of the things that will influence us as we go about this task are inconsistencies in resumes, unexplained gaps in experience, inconsistencies in write-ups from one job to another, poor grammar and spelling mistakes.
We see generic resumes submitted on multiple different roles. If we are looking for a project manager then we will be looking for project management experience in the resume, a focus on project management in the candidate’s more recent experiences and in any overview. If the focus of the resume is anything else then that candidate is likely not going to be considered for a project management role, even though they might have relevant experience. So … focus your resume on the job you are applying for!
We look for experience we would expect for a given role and when we don’t see it we are left wondering if the person really is qualified. If someone is applying for a technical role that would suggest several different types of skills, we want to see ALL of those skills on the resume. Often candidates assume that because they have a certain role on their resume that all of the requisite skills to do that role are assumed … never assume!
We sometimes see write-ups that look very familiar, and references that are the same as many other resumes. We have seen a type of fraud where groups of individuals, typically from the same origins, get together and provide references for each other and their resumes are almost word for word the same! Obviously we stay away from these people, so don’t copy other people’s resumes … use your own words!.
“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” John Ruskin
We have very little time to respond to our clients with qualified candidates so we will always prefer to work with people we know. That might be people we have worked with before, people we have met and interviewed or people that are referred by trusted sources.
Candidates applying for jobs may wonder why they have difficulty getting considered by recruiters and may assume that recruiters are just not competent, perhaps they are rude or maybe they are playing favorites. The reality is that they operate in a very fast paced environment and for you to be considered seriously you need to help yourself.
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Beverly Sills
Here are 5 thoughts for people looking to get the attention of recruiters:
- Make sure your resume is a true reflection of the job you are applying for. Ideally customise it for each job;
- Put significant effort into the content … this is a “selling document” and needs to convince the recruiter that you are someone worth considering.
- Make sure you have no spelling or grammatical errors in your resume. Get help if necessary.
- Make the recruiters job easier. If the advertised role asks for specific skills (2 years of Java development etc) then point out specifically where you have the experience, and make sure it is clear in your resume.
- Try to develop a rapport with a few recruiters. Getting interviewed and providing references BEFORE they have a job you want will enhance your chances.
“If you want to earn a certain amount of money, develop yourself into the person who is worth being paid that amount of money.” Idowu Koyenikan
Kevin Dee is founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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