Want to know a secret?
It may sting a little bit.
Recruiters DO NOT care about you!
Let me clarify this. Recruiters do not care about you as per your resume. They are not looking to learn more about you as a person they are trying to find what THEY need. They want to hire the best candidate for the job, you don’t matter when they are reviewing your resume, your PROSPECTIVE CANDIDACY MATTERS.
This doesn’t mean they are heartless or that you don’t actually matter. It means that your resume should be designed to impress upon recruiters why you are an ideal fit for the position. This is so important. Recruiters do not have time to read between the lines or explore your career history in detail. It is up to you to prove to them why you are the ideal candidate for the role and you do this through a well-written and accessible resume.
We have all heard the stat that recruiters only look at your resume for six seconds. But what does this look like? Take a look at this image below.
This is how your resume is scanned. The darker areas indicate time spent/focus. What are they looking for?
They are scanning your resume for important information like your contact info, position titles, education, employment dates, company names, etc. But most of you have already probably guessed that.
So then why is this image important? Because way too many people are relying on resumes and CV’s that look like this:
Consider the heat map above and how it would translate to this resume. I can assure you, it doesn’t. Take a look at those skills bars. WHAT DO THEY EVEN MEAN? I go over skills bars in my Facebook group in a video but to keep it brief, if you are using them, get rid of them. In fact, if you are using any of these two-column Esty-special resumes reconsider whether or not it is in your best professional interest.
Remember, you DO NOT want to stand out because of a cute design. You are not applying for jobs as a resume designer, are you? No. You want to demonstrate, unequivocally, through your content why you are the best professional for the position. Not that your creative acumen extends to buying pre-made templates on an online craft store.
Rant over. Moving on.
Lets talk about what recruiters are doing when they scan your resume. Of course, they are looking for important information. But what else? Let me break down a typical recruitment process in three steps.
They scan the resume for minimum qualifications. They look through your professional summary, work experience, education, skills, etc. to determine this. These are often considered knockout qualifications. Meaning, if you don’t meet these minimum requirements, you’re not moving further on in the hiring process. (ATS’s help with this)
They scan for preferred qualifications and related experience: These are nice-to-haves and are generally more qualitative and often used as differentiators among applicants.
They create a shortlist of resumes that meet the above criteria, review them thoroughly, then consider inviting the candidate for an interview.
That is essentially it. So how do you end up in that shortlist? You write your resume to coincide with what the recruiter is looking for. Easier said than done? Use these tips when you are drafting your next resume.
1. Use a simple but professional format. Think easy to scan, read, and process.
2. Read over the job posting carefully. Make a list of the key skills, qualifications, responsibilities, and tasks.
3. Try to include the job posting language in your resume if it is reflective of your career.
4. Tailor your resume to the posting. Remember to PROVE why you’re an ideal candidate.
5. Focus on accomplishments not responsibilities. Show them how you can generate results and get things done.
This is just the spark notes version. I explore all of this stuff in my blog in detail so feel free to check it out. The point I want to convey with this blog post is that a recruiter does not care about you. Don’t make them second guess your professional experience, don’t hide important information, and don’t assume they are going to do extensive research about you.
Write your resume to reflect the position you’re applying for. Demonstrate why you would be the BEST candidate for the role and then I can assure you the recruiters will be interested. If you are unsure how to do this, check out our career development page.
Best of luck!