When it comes to reviewing résumés, recruiters know what to look for and how to tear them apart. Sifting through the unnecessary words and looking for those that are most important is our number one priority. However, for those of us who are corporate recruiters, hiring extra recruiters to support our firms, it’s surprising to see how many of us don’t practice what we preach.
Expectations for a professional résumé are uniform, regardless of the skills being illustrated. Candidates should keep it clean, explain technical experience, career progression, and list the companies they have worked for and what positions they have served. Then they should detail what they have done in each position.
Yet, not every candidate clearly explains all of their experiences on a résumé. When that happens, it is up to the recruiter to fight through lots of excess verbiage just to gather essential details on what the person was doing in any particular position. We shouldn’t have to do this, but not everyone is a professional résumé writer.
In fact, some industry experts have said if the résumé is too perfect, it may indicates the person has been updating it in pursuit of a job for too long. And they just haven't gotten any offers yet.
While I understand that point of view, I strongly disagree with it. Professional résumé writers are everywhere, and exist for a reason -- even to help recruiters when they are shopping their wares to new employers!
What baffles me is that the same people who have high expectations for professional résumés don’t practice what they preach. I view 100+ résumés on any given day, and what I see is surprising. The number of mistakes, typographical errors, and spacing issues between blocks of content are numerous.
What is most surprising, however, is the lack of detail on accomplishments.
So many recruiters haven’t taken the time to quantify their experience. Recruiting is a numbers game, and we are measured on how many placements we make. Our résumés should show the skill sets we've worked on, the number of placements made over a certain period of time, and amount of revenue we generated for our company. These numbers are at the core of how staffers are evaluated. (Corporate recruiters are typically evaluated on number of placements and time-to-fill.) So why not display that information?
Many recruiters across the country leave these details off their résumés, and they are costly omissions. The same résumé expectations recruiters have industry-wide should be put into practice when it comes to job-hunting. If you are a recruiter looking for a new position now or in the future, make sure to quantify your results. It will most likely get the corporate recruiter (or hiring manager) to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.