Ideally, you’d like every person who lays eyes on your resume do a double take, then reach for the phone, dial your number and offer you a million dollar position on the spot. But the modern job search is a little more complex than this, and sometimes the first gatekeepers who encounter your resume will be recruiters, not employers. And as it happens, recruiters and employers have slightly different goals.
While employers need to fill an open position and move their companies forward, recruiters—especially independent third parties—need to please their employer clients and maintain their trust. So here are a few resume details that can make recruiters sit up and take notice. These moves will help you to help them excel at their jobs.
Use language identical to the language in your targeted job post.
If a recruiter sends you a post for an open position and the position interests you, don’t just respond by attaching your current resume to an email and clicking send. Instead, open your resume file and make sure the wording you use to describe you credentials reflects the phrases used in the post. For example, if the post says “CPR certified native Spanish speaker”, include that phrase in your resume. Not “Excellent Spanish speaker who is also CPR certified.” Why? Because recruiters are not hiring you. Their candidate searches are built around their client’s instructions. And besides, they may use these phrases as keywords to pull your information out of a vast resume database.
Don’t ramble. Keep your resume brief, clear, and relevant. Recruiters aren’t looking for a “hard-worker” or a “go-getter”. These are empty words that describe every applicant in the world. So delete these filler phrases and pack your resume with concrete information that’s directly relevant to your readiness for a given position. If you think you’re rambling on and on, you are. Cut everything you can possibly cut without omitting vital facts. This includes all adverbs, generic buzzwords, and universal self-descriptors.
Use the exact position title.
If recruiters reach out to you with an open position, make sure your resume summary and cover letter describe the job using the same title.
Add these three words to your online profile.
Three words (or phrases) will need to appear in your LinkedIn profile in order for recruiters to find you and contact you with relevant opportunities: these include a) your job title, b) your industry, and c) your geographic area. You can express these however your choose (as in “New York Metro area,” “Wisconsin,” or “Middletown, PA”), but they’ll need to appear somewhere in your text.
Emphasize your accomplishments, not your basic responsibilities.
In your work history section, don’t waste too much space describing the basic requirements of your previous jobs. Instead, focus on the details and accomplishments that make you stand out. Recruiters see hundreds of resumes every day, and they understand how most jobs work without needing complex explanations. Again, the faster you get to the point, the faster you’ll cross the finish line and be called in for an interview.