young man shocked with something he see on his laptop computerWhen it comes to reviewing resumes, 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 No. 1 priority.

However, for those of us who are corporate recruiters, hiring staff augmentation recruiters to support our firms, it’s surprising how many of us don’t practice what we preach.

Expectations for a professional resume are uniform, regardless of the skills being illustrated. Keep it clean, explain technical experience, career progression, and list the companies you have worked for and what positions you have served in. Then the candidate details what he or she has done in each position. Sometimes simple and straight forward doesn’t come across as simple and straight forward as it should.

Yet, not all candidates clearly explain all of their experiences on a resume. 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 resume writer.

In fact, some industry experts have said if the resume is too perfect, perhaps that person has been looking for a new position for too long, and a resume with too much time spent on it was an indication he or she has been updating it and not getting any offers for too long.

While I understand that point of view, I strongly disagree with it. Professional resume 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 resumes don’t practice what they preach.

I view 200+ resumes 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. Once I saw someone spell “qualifications” incorrectly by typing “Qualificashuns”. The section it was under – “Languages Spoken.” English and Spanish were both listed. I’m hoping they were at least fluent in the latter.

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. Recruiters’ resumes should show the skill sets worked on, the number of placements made over a certain period of time, and amount of revenue they generated for their company. These numbers are at the core of how staffing firm recruiters are evaluated.  (Corporate Recruiters are typically evaluated on number of placements and time-to-fill.)

Many recruiters across the country leave these details off their resumes, and they are costly omissions.

The same resume expectations recruiters have industry-wide should also be practiced by themselves when it comes to searching for their next opportunities. 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) picking up the phone and calling you for a change.



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