Posted September 22, 2015

Another Day, Another Resume

A typical day for a recruiter usually involves navigating through piles of resumes from different sources that somehow make their way into your inbox. This is even truer today, when business-oriented social networks such as LinkedIn make employment histories and resumes even more readily available. The grind of sorting and finally selecting the first round begins.

As an experienced recruiter with BeachHead, I have my own cheat sheet as to what resumes will stand out, at least for the first cut. Below are some of the things I look for.

The Right Keywords Can Get You Hired

Almost all candidate searches today use some form of digital database or applicant tracking system (ATS). Recruiters run a search based on specific keywords or skill sets. If your resume / profile has the correct keywords related to the job you are applying for, you’ll have a higher chance of getting noticed.

Use Effective Job Titles

Job titles should be descriptive and provide the recruiter and the employer / client a good grasp about the exact nature of your work experiences.

  • Vague Title: Consultant
  • Effective Title: Java Developer

Spelling & Grammar Count!

Watch that typography please! I notice if font size, type faces, capital letters etc. are used appropriately. Spotless spelling and grammar are a must.

Say it Loud & Proud

Don’t just give me a catch-all list of responsibilities in your previous roles – tell me (succinctly) about your proudest achievements and successes.

Speak with Data & Numbers

Define your past work performance by citing solid metrics. How large was the project you worked on or delivered in terms of dollar amount? Size of the team? How much revenue did you increase? Did you engineer a process that resulted in money saved?

Let Go of the Past

Remove really old work experiences from your resume. There’s no need to mention your first job out of university being a barista in a coffee shop. The last 10 years of your career is typically enough to fill up a solid two page resume.

Diamonds in the Rough

The above is my go-to guide in making my initial resume screening process more effective. Occasionally I will chance upon a resume that may not be the best constructed, but if the content truly speaks to who the candidate is and what he/she has to offer, it can be like finding a diamond in the rough.