My job is to examine the resumes I receive, determine which resumes most closely match the requirements of the job, screen candidates over the phone, and then interview in person. On average, I receive about 100 resumes per position I have available. Let’s say that at any given time I’m recruiting for 10 different positions. That’s 1000 resumes to inspect!
Not only is this a lot of work, but I am often under time constraints as client’s usually need to fill their positions as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, many candidates make my job more challenging by failing to do very simple things. You might ask yourself: Why would I want to make a recruiter’s job easier? The answer to that question is simple: candidates that make our jobs easier are not only more accessible but also stand out.
Here is a list of things to do to make your recruiter’s job easier:
- Use an effective subject line – When e-mailing your resume to a recruiter your subject line should be in this format: ‘Name – Position for which you are applying,’ that’s it. It may seem like a no-brainer but often subject lines for e-mails that I receive don’t include the persons name or the position for which they are applying. Remember, a lot of the time recruiters are moving quickly so they are more likely to open an e-mail with a subject line specific to the position for which they’re recruiting. Don’t let your resume be considered last!
- Remember to attach your resume – Don’t make us have to call you or e-mail you back to let you know that you forgot the attachment! It’s an extra step and you are sure to be considered last. Besides, it makes for a poor first impression.
- Use a concise cover letter – Recruiters don’t have time to read a three page cover letter. Cover letters should accomplish three things: a brief self-introduction, a brief description of your career objective, and a brief explanation of why you’re a fit for the position for which you’re applying. It should be no longer than one page.
- Use a common document format – Let’s face it, most companies run MS Office and Adobe Reader on their computer systems. Use formats that are compatible with those programs (e.g. .doc, .rtf, .pdf, etc.). Your resume is more likely to be opened the first time a recruiter sees it, instead of when the recruiter gets around to e-mailing you to ask for another format.
- Include your correct contact information - This actually happens fairly often, most commonly on resumes submitted from job boards like Career Builder or Monster. Many times when candidates change their e-mail or phone number, they forget to update their job board profiles. This slows down a recruiter’s process for obvious reasons.
- Include your dates of employment – Remember to include your dates of employment for each position on your resume. The idea is to provide us information about how much experience you have. Excluding your dates of employment makes it more difficult to determine the extent of your experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- List your accomplishments and duties for each position – Recruiters want to know what you did for each position specifically. While a general list of accomplishments at the top of your resume is great, we still want to know where, when, and for how long you had that experience. Save your recruiter some time and provide this information in your resume.
- Don’t exclude important details – For each position, list important details such as the software you used, the machines you used, the types of products you sold, the products you manufactured/designed/engineered, how many people you supervised, etc. Many times recruiters are searching for a very specific person with a very specific skill set. They might just be searching for someone that has experience working with the exact software/machines/products you have! Make it easy for them to find you by including this information in your resume!
Remember, recruiters are looking for the best fit for the positions they have available and they are trying to do it quickly. Make your resume as accessible as possible and include all the necessary information they need to assess your qualifications.