Recently I posted a great article from “Quora” written by Ambra Benjamin an Engineering Recruiter on what recruiter’s look for in a resume. It might seem pretty obvious, but since there was so much controversy over a recent blog post I wrote on the merits of throwing out the cover letter, I thought it might be worth a second look from another recruiter’s perspective.
When it comes to your resume as we said in the past less is more. Not that you need to hold back on your accomplishments, but getting your resume to read in a short and concise format will help you stand out when the resume review clock starts ticking. It is no exaggeration that it takes a seasoned recruiter a Nano second to scan, assess and either moves forward or passes your resume onto the hiring manager. An adept recruiter will know what they are looking for like a CSI investigator combing for clues. It does not take a rocket scientist to determine whether someone has the right qualifications for the job but it does take an enormous amount of patience and insight to make a quick read in the resume review process.
In the 30 second or less rule, think of how your resume reads if all you have is that amount of time to capture someone’s attention. It’s important to note from this recruiter’s point of view some of the things that stand out in a resume and that will likely get you noticed:
- Most Recent Roles
- Company Recognition
- Overall Experience
- Overall Organization
- Keyword Search
- Online footprint
Likewise, some of the things that are of lesser importance include:
- Fancy formatting
- Uncomfortable personal details
- COVER LETTERS
And some things that are just plain outdated and/or annoying to a recruiter are:
- Long resumes (more than 2 pages)
- Poor grammar and writing in the first person
- Using an MS Word standard template
- Including an “objective” as the header
- Mailing, faxing or hand-delivery of a resume
- Title jumping within the organization to get your resume read
- Exaggerating titles and responsibilities
Even though you may have the perfect background for a position you are applying for, getting through the thousands of submissions means there is a human on the other end of that resume pile reading and sifting through to find you-so do them a favor, make it easy! Even if you were taught to include your GPA in high school or to include an over-reaching professional “objective” this is the digital age, when was the last time your professor or guidance counselor applied for a job!
Some things you might consider to bring your resume to life on paper would be to include personal projects and any contributions you are making to your personal and professional community that might be considered note-worthy. Making sure your LinkedIn profile matches the timeline and sequence of your resume is important-yes recruiters will likely check that out BEFORE reading your resume!
So when it comes time to apply for that next job make sure you pay attention to your audience and give them something interesting to read. Next time, think of that poor recruiter who is on their tenth cup of coffee and has not gotten half way through the resume clicks on their way to finding you!
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