Recently, I’ve been back in recruiting mode to help a new company and while I love connecting with interesting people, there are so many things applicants do that drive me crazy. This experience solidified my thought that I could never be a full-time recruiter. It also inspired me to share a few tips and ideas to applicants to increase their likelihood of a recruiter spending more than 30-90 seconds on their resume before chucking them in the “no” folder and hitting “send” on the “no, thank you” auto email.

Your Experience is Buried in Your Resume

It can be time consuming to customize a resume for each job posting, but it is such a critical step! If I’m looking to hire a social media manager, and I don’t see any actual social media manager experience…I’m not going to waste any more time and send a “no, thank you” email and move on. Funny story: I sent that rejection email last week and the candidate wrote back quickly and said, “I really encourage you to take a deeper look at my resume. I’ve done great things in increasing IG followers for accounts.” And I was so surprised, I went back and looked. And looked. And looked. The majority of the resume was about his experience in trucking and shipping. There was only one reference to one Instagram project in the middle of all the trucking information. I was so pissed at myself for wasting the time on this chump and I wanted to write him a scathing email about wasting my time and that he doesn’t deserve an interview because he didn’t really highlight his skills for the position I posted, but I didn’t. Instead, I’m writing to all of you. So take it from me, make sure your highlight boxes, your skill lists, your work experience titles and bullets underneath all support the position you’re applying for!

Your Resume Hasn’t Changed Since 1998

I graduated high school in 1998 and when I went to college (W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State, baby!), I joined a business fraternity and they helped me draft a resume to help me find jobs during and after college. Last week, I reviewed resumes that had the exact same look of my resume circa 1998. I kid you not. Please search resume templates on pick something a little more modern. Especially if the job you’re applying for has anything to do with technology, social media, art, creativity, business, nonprofits… This is your first opportunity to show a recruiter that you have excellent word processing and creativity skills which are often needed in every type of job out there. Plus, recruiters appreciate a little variety and a little color!

You Upload Your Resume in a Word Document

If you upload your resume in a Word Document or other editable version a few things can happen. One, the formatting gets screwed up and no recruiter wants to decipher that. Two, the job board program shows a preview of your resume and the resolution is terrible. This leads to the recruiter having to download your resume to see if you’re a fit. Recruiters don’t want to download resumes because that’s time consuming and gets them out of their groove. If they can’t read it, they’re more than likely to skip over you and send a rejection. I found to be true and I totally rejected those folks that wasted my time and didn’t put their resume in PDF. PDF formats are the gold standard – use these!

You Didn’t Include a Cover Letter

So right now, I’m recruiting for an amazing company. One that has won national awards, has a beautiful website, enviable social media pages, a robust LinkedIn page, a boat load of very impressive and expensive benefits for employees. A quick way I check to see if the applicant has any idea what this company is about, is to see if they included a cover letter. An applicant that writes a short and to the point cover letter that connects their prior work experience to the job responsibilities I’ve posted, makes me a happy camper and they are definitely going to get closer to a 90 second look or longer. Help recruiters out and paint the picture for them. Connect the dots. Show that you’ve done your homework on their company and that you’re ready to jump in and use your skills to their benefit. Make them believe you really want this job!

You Don’t Check LinkedIn or Email Throughout the Day

When a recruiter is hot, they’re hot. Meaning they are in the groove of reviewing and scheduling hundreds of people for interview slots over the course of a few hours. Be sure if they reach out to set something up that you respond right away. They may only have so many interview slots available in the upcoming days and you want to be sure to snag one. Also, if you’re currently employed and want to be respectful of your current employer’s needs – that’s great. Be prepared to get creative and meet a recruiter really early or late around your work time and their time zone.

Share These Tips with the Applicants in Your Life!

Ok, I’m climbing down from the soapbox now… Thanks for reading. Please share this information with the folks in your life that are job searching. It could truly help set apart from the competition.

Also, if there are other things applicants do that drive you crazy, drop me a comment below! I might have to do a part two blog on this topic after I recruit more this week!

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