The Internet has been a mixed blessing for executive recruiters. While it allows them to gather resumes quickly and electronically from all over the world, it has also left them inundated with resumes with every job.
As a potentially qualified candidate for a recruiter’s search assignment, how do you get noticed among the thousands of resumes in a recruiter’s inbox? What can you do to differentiate your resume and help the recruiter jumpstart your career? Here are ten tactics to improve your chances of getting the kind of attention you want.
- Send your resume by email. Putting the position and your name in the subject line will ensure that you are being assessed for the right position. Example: VP Business Development — John Doe.
- Include an executive profile at the top of your resume. Your profile, by giving the recruiter a snapshot of your experience, could be one of the most important sections of your resume. Be sure to tailor your experience, skills and education to the job that you are applying for. A recruiter faced with 1000 resumes can’t possibly read each one thoroughly; the executive profile is an effective way to make it through the first cut.
- Make sure to explain all gaps in employment even if you were taking classes or raising a family. A recruiter doesn’t have time to call each candidate and get an explanation for what you were doing during a time of unemployment on your resume.
- Be sure to include a personalized cover letter expressing your interest in relocation, and geographical preferences. A candidate from New Mexico applying for a job in Boston is more likely to be contacted if the cover letter explains that the candidate has family in the Northeast and is looking to relocate there.
- Give a detailed description of the ideal company, position and industry that you would be most interested in working for in the cover letter. This description should be closely related to your career path and related experience.
- Provide your realistic salary requirements and be specific. In your cover letter, this includes your current base salary, incentive bonus and/or commission structure, company car, profit sharing, etc. Don’t worry–the executive recruiter will fight to get you the most attractive offer possible. The recruiter will assess the opportunity and contact you if the job seems right for you for reasons other than salary alone.
- Make sure your resume includes a brief description of each company you worked for, stating the industry, approximate revenue and specialty in the market. No recruiter in the world has the time or the knowledge to know the background of every company that shows up on a resume.
- List specific accomplishments in each of your past jobs, including numbers and outcomes whenever possible. There is no easier way for a recruiter to sell your experiences to a client company than by using specific examples and benchmarks you have achieved.
- Follow up with an email one and a half to two weeks after sending your resume. Include a new cover letter expressing your continued interest and remember to attach your resume. By then, the recruiters will have a better handle on the position and will be able to quickly assess if you are a potential fit for the client company.
- Be persistent without being pushy. Recruiters assess personality and cultural fit to the same degree that they look for the necessary skills to perform the job. If you haven’t been contacted, it may not mean you aren’t qualified for the position. It may simply mean that someone else better fit the company’s expectations. Maintain a good relationship with an executive recruiter. You never know when you’ll get a call for your dream job.
Are you looking for a key leadership position and need a certified coach to help you prepare?
Nelly Grinfeld is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer and Certified Employment Interview Consultant. Nelly works with motivated professionals from all industries and at all career levels to create powerful resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as to prepare job seekers to excel at their next job interview. If you are interested in her services, please contact her here.
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