Help a Recruiter Find Your Resume with These Edits

Oct. 5, 2015 How to get Hired


Kelli Whitecar is a recruiter with Parker Staffing Services. Over the years at Parker, she’s found stellar candidates for well-known Seattle companies.When asked about what types of resumes she prefers to receive from candidates, Kelli was all too excited to provide us with some input based on her 10 years of recruiting experience.

As a recruiter, I’ve seen so many resumes. During a solid 8-hour work day when I am actively searching for candidates to fill a specific role, I see an upwards of 200-300 resumes. Occasionally, I’ll have a few resumes that catch my attention – some in a good way, but others… not so much. Here’s how to be one of those goodattention-getters, helping a recruiter find your resume faster:

WORD DOCS RULE

If you want a recruiter’s appreciation, always submit your resume in a Word Doc (.doc) format. Why? Before your resume is presented to the client, recruiters remove pertinent contact information and place a header with the staffing firm’s logo and contact information. This is done for multiple reasons:

  • Eliminates potential discrimination of gender, race, and/or location. You may be willing to commute to Bothell from West Seattle each day, but if an employer sees your West Seattle address on your resume, they may be hesitant. Moreover, using our header in lieu of yours removes any chance of a hiring manager Google-ing you, which may sway their decision before interviewing you.
  • Gives them one point-of-contact regarding your resume. They know exactly which staffing firm is representing you, who your recruiter is, and how to get in touch after reviewing your resume.

NO MORE SKILL-BASED RESUMES

Stop using skill-based resumes: Instead, use traditional bulleted, chronological resumes. Typically, skill-based resumes, also known as functional resumes, do not tell the entire story. They don’t illustrate how fresh your skills are. When is the last time your work involved calendaring and scheduling? Has the software changed? Are you still well-versed? Don’t allow these questions to arise. Instead, be clear, chronological, and always include job title, company, location, and dates employed (month AND year) when listing work experience.

KEEP PERSONAL INFORMATION OFF OF YOUR RESUME

Avoid adding personal information such as: height, weight, citizenship information, street address, and a photo of yourself.

SAY “NO” TO TEMPLATES

Templates are tough to edit, so any small changes that recruiters need to make on-the-fly take longer as templates are finicky. This does not bode well for candidates trying to compete for an immediate position.

POLISHED, CLEAN FONTS WITH MINIMAL COLOR? A+

Resumes are supposed to be a reflection of your professional self, and your professional self is probably not turquoise, lavender, and Comic Sans. Stick to black, grey or blue. It is acceptable to have one additional color as a highlight to divide sections or indicate headers; make sure the color is easy to read (on screen and in print). This same advice should be applied to font choice. It’s best to stay in the safe zone (Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, Calibri), but if you want something different, make sure your font is readable and clean. You can bold section headers and job titles, as long as you remain consistent.

If you ever have questions or need a resume resource, feel free to reach out to us here at Parker. We’ll not only perfect your resume, but we’ll be your partner in finding you your dream job. For a list of all of our current job openings in the Seattle area, click here.