Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quick and Dirty: What Cranky Recruiter looks for on a resume first

I have exactly five minutes to write this.  So please excuse any mistakes, errors or crankiness.  Those who regularly read my blog will understand that last part. 

I am always being asked for advice with resumes.  Happy to help, when time permits.  Right now time is of the essence.  But I thought I'd give you the quick and dirty version of what I, and most hiring managers, look for in a resume.

1.  A resume that is appropriate for the position.  If I've posted a job and I get a resume out of left field that doesn't match the description at all, it tends to get very little interest.  I do understand that I often post positions and note that I also recruit on other jobs in the wine industry.  So, I do want to hear from job seekers out there, and am happy to get your resume--it just may be reviewed later than a resume that is spot on.  Patience, my friends.

2.  Location, location, location.  I look at where someone is living and consider that heavily in their ability to take the job I'm working on.  Yes, people relocate all the time for work.  People also get through the entire interviewing process all the time and decide that, no, they don't really want to leave (insert home town here).  This really doesn't help me, and can hurt my business, so I do weigh a person's current location in my decision to contact them about a position.

3.  Education.  I want people to have a Bachelor's Degree at least for most jobs.  I do understand that going to school and working can be hard, but do it.  Get that degree, even if it takes 10 years or more.  I love seeing it on a resume.  AA degrees and advanced degrees are also great to see.  But yes, if you have been going to an institution of higher learning for the last 15 years and have no work experience I worry about your ability to work in an industry job.  Just saying.

4.  Lengths of employment.  I like people who have been in a job for a few years.  More than two.  If less, I may wonder why, and sometimes know why, but give me a good 4 years at your last employer, and I'm in heaven.

5.  Gaps of employment:  You hear about this problem.  Yes, I wonder why you weren't working for 2 years.  I often will contact you, but you better be able to address it.

Remember,  no one is perfect.  I understand if your resume doesn't meet my top five points exactly.  I'll often give you a chance.  But just thought many people would like to see what my eye scans when I open up a resume.  Hey, five minutes and five talking points--not bad.  Back to work. 

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