The Secret World of Recruiters: Why They Don't Notice Your Resume

By Irene McConnell (Kotov)

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To understand why your resume is getting ignored by recruiters you have to understand something about them.

They're just like you. And, just like you, they're bombarded with thousands of advertisements every day.

The only difference between you and them is that the ads you see are created by companies who want to sell themselves to you. The ads which the recruiters are bombarded by are resumes. And one of those ads is your resume … advertising you.

How Many Resumes?

When I was in recruitment I'd scan through about 100-200 resumes each day for the positions I had to fill.

Now, think back to your own life. How many ads you walk past per day? A few hundred?

Now, how many do you pay attention to? One? Two? Maybe you can stretch it to three?

And you know the feeling of an ad jumping out at you, right? It doesn't feel like sales copy as much as a conversation designed specifically for you.

It's as if in the sea of nonsense advertising junk one person decided to cut through the noise and communicate directly to you, using your language, about your needs, using a message on a billboard.

You read it, watch it, soak it all in. You want to know more.

I Have Some Bad News

That conversation is not aimed just at you. And the brand which you resonate with is not a result of an organic connection which you might be tempted to think you have with it.

Your experience of that ad was carefully designed by a creative team in a digital agency because it's their job to view the world through your eyes. This enables them to communicate with your in a surgically precise language on an almost subliminal level.

The ad which they created says everything you need to hear. And nothing you don't.

Why Is This Important?

You want your resume to have the same impact on recruiters as your favourite ads have on you.

It has to have that magnetic pull factor which makes it jump out at you from hundreds of resumes they see each day.

And if they're browsing through a pile of resumes to fill a position, you want your resume to stop them in their tracks and want to find out more about you.

Making Your Resume Jump

Let me give you some points so that you speak the recruiter's language and get your resume noticed, instead of spamming them:

- Avoid cliched hyperbole which doesn't mean anything.

- Talk about your achievements, not competencies.

- Adjust the resume to fit each job you're applying for.

- Make sure the keywords you see in the job ad are present in your resume.

- Put yourself into the recruiter's shoes and think about what kind of attributes they're looking for.

- Include a cover letter.

- Make sure your cover letter tells a compelling story of who you are.

- Be consistent in your punctuation and formatting (basic advice, I know, but I'm always surprised how many resumes are missing the basics).

- Be honest; don't fabricate anything.

- Make sure you have an online presence, as many recruiters will check that, too.

About the Author

Irene Kotov helps senior executives get jobs in exciting companies. Through her resume writing services, social profile campaigns and interview coaching she helps people stand head and shoulders above their competition. You can catch up with her on Google+.


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