A Recruiter's Sage Advice

I am a huge proponent of continuous learning. A colleague once dubbed me the Teleclass Junkie, a name I am honoured to own! It is by incremental improvements that my expertise and service has grown.

So you won't be surprised to hear that today I attended a webinar. Hosted by a leading Applicant Tracking System (ATS) service, and featuring a Silicon Valley Recruitment Executive with over 20 years of experience, the webinar informed listeners about what recruiters look for in a resume.

Much of what was shared I certainly know, for example:

  • match your resume content to the job description, naming skills and acronyms, and using some of the vernacular that is expected in that industry
  • you have the best chance if your current or most recent job is similar to the job you are applying to, and in the same industry
  • if you don't capture the recruiter's attention within seconds, it's pretty much game over

But, as always, I learned a few new things, such as:

  • don't wait until the last day to apply. Oftentimes, even if a position appears to continue being posted, if a great prospect comes along early, an offer may already have been made! In certain situations (unionized environment comes to mind), the closing date means exactly that - no applicants are contacted until after the competition closes
  • if a "perfect" candidate comes along when a decision is imminent, a recruiter will not "muddy the waters" by introducing a new candidate
  • the ATSystem is here to stay, as it streamlines the recruitment process, acting not only as a preliminary "reader," but also as a database that holds comments, record and reference checks, and other hiring activities. It also permits the migration of this data to an HRIS (human resource information system) of the new hire's captured comments and activities

Is the ATS a perfect system? No, unfortunately, as some of the preprogrammed "reading" function is rather arbitrary, rendering the system ineffective as a last word. Human eyes must still scan the applications.

All we can do is make sure we've peppered our documents with key words and phrases, followed the prescribed format or formula and send the resume off with hope and goodwill!

New Leaf offers an ATS-friendly version of the resume, or a step-by-step outline, available to clients only, on how to ensure the resume adheres to the ATS formula. Working to your career success! - Stephanie