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Recruiters – What are They Looking for?

 

Here is some great advice I received from a recruiter, one who is inundated with resumes and actually took the time to talk to me. I will not pretend that I am an expert on how to find a job in this job market. I’m not qualified to do that but I will share what I learned during my conversation with this particular recruiter in the hopes that it will help others.

On Tuesday 2/23/10, I had the lovely experience of speaking with a recruiter from a local insurance company, a company that will remain nameless. I do not use the term “Lovely” sarcastically either. You have to remember that in this economy most recruiters are inundated with hundreds, if not thousands of resumes and are just looking for a reason to disqualify you from a job opening so they can move onto the next resume.

And to make it clear this was a recruiter employed by the company, not a headhunter. There is a difference as recruiters work for the company they are recruiting for and are familiar with their corporate culture. Headhunters do not. Here are some tips from an actual recruiter that I found very informative. Pay Attention:

  1. The main reason my resume stood out was my most recent previous experience.
  2. The recruiter then skips down to the educational portion. If there is a match the recruiter goes onto the next step.
  3. The recruiter then critique’s the resume for errors. A well formatted, error free resume is a sign you take pride in your work and pay attention to details.
  4. If your resume passes those tests you will get a phone call. Your resume reflects the quality of your work but not your personality. The phone call will help the recruiter judge your personality and  if you are a good fit for the companies corporate culture.

I did not mention if the recruiter read my career summary, objective or profile. She didn’t. So I asked, “If I had written as my objective that I wanted to win the lotto and never work again, would I still be considered for the position?” The answer was yes. :) I would still recommend writing a professional objective just in case.

If your resume and personality shine the recruiter will then recommend you for a follow up interview with management. That’s it! It’s easy right?

Just remember you are not a fit for every company. I’ve scored a lot of interviews this way, have been turned down and have turned down many positions after the interview process was complete. I’m looking for a position I can grow in, a healthy corporate culture (or one that I can help nurse back to health) and a position that I would happily get up for and spend 40+ hours a week doing. Happiness might just be the best Health Care reform I know of. Ya think? ;)

P.S. I have also been taking notes and saving them to my Google Docs. The file can be found here:

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