After catching up with some colleagues I had the pleasure to build a professional relationship with, 4 of them are recruiters for some leading contracting companies located here in the Dc, Maryland, and Northern Virginia area. I asked the number one question. “How do you look at a large amount of resumes throughout the day, and make a decision on a candidate that fits the description”. Although each recruiter had different answers, there were a few commonalities.
First, recruiters take up to 6-10 seconds to scan your resume and look for things that grab their attention. Starting with demographic information, the value statement/summary, and the first position annotated on your resume. Demographic information is important to them, considering location: “are you within a descent distance from the organization? Does it require you to relocate? Or – Did you include more than one method of contact?” The value statement/summary shows them hard skills you have gained throughout your career: HAZMAT Certified, Logistics Management – 8 years, Financial Analysis, Instructor, Security Clearance. The first position, recruiters are looking at: the current job title, length of employment, are you still employed or is there a break in your career – if so, how long has it been.
Second, recruiters look at prior positions and determine if you have related experience or not. Lastly, your education, professional growth, and additional information sections are scanned. Recruiters are looking for education (if it is a requirement), professional growth – what type of certifications, courses, or training do you have that qualifies you for the position. The additional information section is another opportunity to include details that cannot be captured in your resume that is related to the position you are applying for.
In short it is important to format your resume in a way that is clear and understandable to the reader. Format your resume in sections that are relevant to what recruiters are looking for: personal information, value statement/summary, work experience, education, professional growth/certifications/awards, and additional information section, if needed. Pictures are unnecessary in the majority of resumes: web developers, online marketers, and statistical data positions may want to consider an Infographic Resume – including information from your personal portfolio. For more information and resources that can help you secure a career or general help: contact us!