From the moment you press the send button to submit your resume for a job, you are being evaluated. The average recruiter takes 10 seconds to review a resume so it’s imperative for it to be professional, clear, accurate and easy to read. Here are some of the basics recruiters look for:
- Make sure that your e-mail address is appropriate for job seeking i.e. don’t use email@example.com .
- Include a link to your LinkedIn page with your contact information – LinkedIn is the best professional website used by many recruiters.
- When you save your resume – make sure that it is properly labeled i.e. “Max Brown CV” as opposed to “Max Brown final version”. It is ok to have multiple versions of your resume but you don’t want to advertise that to hiring managers.
- Proof, proof and reproof your resume – don’t just spell check – go over it with a fine tooth comb for grammatical errors. Recruiters will discount you as a candidate if there is just one error on your resume
- Make sure that the objective on your resume appropriately reflects the job you are applying for. In other words if you are applying for an Executive Admin position – don’t state in your objective that you are looking for a “Sales Admin” role – those are two different jobs!
- Make sure that your dates of employment are accurate. Your resume should begin with your most recent job and work backwards.
- Recruiters love bullet points.
Your resume is the first impression a recruiter see of you, but first impressions don’t end there…
Preparation: Before starting your job search, make sure that your voice mail message on your cell phone and land line are professional. There should be no loud music in the background, children’s voices or slang.
Dress for Success: This one is not so unique – but now, more than ever, is the time to update your interview ‘look” – from your hair color to your glasses to your shoes – make sure that everything is up to date and appropriate. Wear a suit even if you know it is a casual environment.
Demonstrate initiative: When going to an interview do not make/expect the hiring manager (or recruiter) to give you driving directions – in this day and age you should be able to figure it out yourself via MapQuest, GPS or from the directions on the company website. Maybe take a test drive the day before your interview.
Follow directions: Be respectful of the instructions within a posting – if it says “No calls” don’t call! I had a hiring manager reject two candidates on that basis alone. It shows that you can’t follow directions, have poor attention to detail and it shows disrespect.
Remember you are always being evaluated: Be extra nice to the front desk person. He/she is often asked to “weigh in” on a candidate.
Demonstrate interest: Learn about the company prior to the interview. Visit their web site and be prepared to show the hiring manager that you have done your research on the company. Be sure to “weave” it in to the conversation or when asking questions.
Positive attitude: When asked “why are you looking to leave your current company do not complain or say anything negative. Tie in what you are looking for with the potential employer i.e. “I am really looking for a smaller more collaborative company – like a XYZ Inc” or “after five years at a 15 person company, I feel like I’ve learned and contributed all that I can and it’s time for a change.”
Good Etiquette: Follow up promptly with a thank you e-mail – even after a phone screen. This should be sent within 1 business day of the meeting or call.
Be Organized: Keep a list of all of the companies/titles of jobs that you have responded to so that you are prepared when you get “the” call. (I often get – what company is this? What is the position again? I’ve sent out so many resumes recently etc, etc). Having a few facts about the company wouldn’t hurt as well.