How much does the resume and work history of a job candidate mean to you, versus their education, cover letter, how they do in an interview and just about everything else?
That question was posed to me in an email recently by a woman who recently graduated from college, and came by Staffing Talk in her efforts to learn more about the staffing and recruiting business, and what you all are looking for. I told her I would pass the question along.
Obviously recent graduates may not have very stout resumes. What else do you look at? Internships? Activities or associations? Volunteer work? Awards? Should they list any old part-time job just to show they worked?
One person I came across in an industry forum said, None of the above is really important for dealing with agencies. They will change your resume around, talk you up to the company they are trying to place you at, and coach you to say the right things. Don’t email if you want to work with agencies. Just start cold calling and saying you are looking for entry level office work, asking for their direct email, then send them your resume.
Do you agree with that assessment?
Another person suggests targeting the larger temp agencies.
They can have you do skills assessments for Microsoft Word/Excel and your typing speed and accuracy. Play up relevant business courses that you took. (Google how recent grads list “Relevant Coursework” as a subheading). Also, decide what your top three or so career path goals are. Temp agents will have an easier time assisting you if you are flexible, but not too indecisive. Tell them you are interested in temp-, temp-to-perm or permanent. You are also at the point where picking up an additional low skill level job like in a retail store couldn’t hurt and volunteering a couple times a month for a charity organization / museum, etc to show you are still adding filler to your resume while you job hunt or even applying for a fall internship.
And here is one job seeker’s take.
“Work history is by FAR the most important. Interviewing well is also somewhat important, but if your work history doesn’t match their requirements you won’t get an interview regardless of what qualities you have.”
Work history is by FAR the most important. Interviewing well is also somewhat important (a big problem for me), but if your work history doesn’t match their requirements you won’t get an interview regardless of what qualities you have. I doubt that cover letters have a whole lot of impact unless they are poorly written or contain errors. Education is not a consideration at all unless it’s your first job after graduation (I essentially have 2 Master’s degrees and a 3.9 overall GPA, and here I am).
So there you have it. Lots of questions. Anyone care to chime in with some answers, or at least your opinion(s)?