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November 08, 2010

Top Resume Tips That Recruiters Love

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Top Resume Tips That Recruiters Love

Want to win points with recruiters and hiring managers? Make sure you're giving them what they want in your resume.

Recruiters are dealing with hundreds of resumes, searching online databases, and managing tons of individual emails from job seekers on a daily basis. If you can avoid wasting their time, you will win favor and that is always a good thing. Here are some tips to consider:

Target Identified

Use a strong branding line or tag line at the beginning of the resume that clearly states two things -- the level you are targeting (such as Vice President or Manager) and also the function you are targeting (such as Marketing, Information Technology, or Sales). One glance and the recruiter knows instantly if you fall into the job category for which he/she is sourcing candidates. If the recruiter is searching for a Production Manager, a tag line that says "Senior Production Manager" is going to grab attention and your resume will most likely get a second glance. You don't waste the recruiters' time by not having anything there or by starting out with "Innovative professional who is detail-oriented..."

Get Rich

Keyword rich, that is. Everyone uses resume databases to manage the deluge of resumes regardless of whether it is a huge company or a small recruiting firm. There is simply no other way to manage resumes except with a database. That means your resume has to get past the database search. Recruiters will search on keywords such as "Production Manager AND Six-Sigma AND Lean AND Boeing" for example. They are looking for all those keywords. If your resume doesn't have those keywords, the recruiter will never see it even though you have experience as a Production Manager for Boeing and you are a Six Sigma Blackbelt with experience in Lean Manufacturing. The resume has to have the keywords that correctly represent your experience.

Recruiters are Joe Fridays -- they want "the facts ma'am, just the facts". Including extraneous material like hobbies, unrelated volunteerism, and information from past jobs that really doesn't have bearing on the current goal is frustrating to recruiters. They need relevant information that accurately, but powerfully, describes your experience and value. They don't like "maybe" candidates. They don't have TIME for "maybe" candidates. You need to make sure you have not thrown a lot of information in there that is not needed by the recruiter. It's easy to do; determining what is relevant can be tough because most job seekers are not objective about their own careers. That's where a third party such as a professional resume writer can truly be of benefit.

A professional resume writer always considers the reader first. What does the reader (the recruiter or hiring manager) want and need to see in a resume? How can a professional resume writer present the client's information so that it meets those needs and outshines all the resumes of the other job seekers?

As with any piece of communication or marketing collateral, it's vital to understand the audience and the challenges they face. Most job seekers know what they are seeking in terms of a job but they don't know what a recruiter or hiring manager is seeking in terms of a resume. Not understanding what the recruiter wants and why can be a detriment to job search success.

Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of, a firm that aids senior and C-level executives through their job search. She's been cited by JIST Publications as one of the "best resume writers in North America," quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and is published in 20+ career books. Alesia's services come with a guarantee--interviews in 30 days or they'll rewrite at no additional cost to you. Sign up for your complimentary resume critique today and get more interviews.

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