Today I want to discus the importance of making it easy for a recruiter to select your CV for their shortlist to send to their client, and hopefully your future employer. In this piece I’m going to share a few insider tips on how you can improve your hit rate in some very simple ways.
Make sure that you submit your Resume or CV in Word format, as an experienced recruiter I know the headache that a CV in PDF or other alternative formats can cause. Recruiting is a game of speed, and no matter how insulting it may seem that your CV will only command attention at first read of around a minute, I’m afraid that’s fact.
Once plucked from obscurity of the database, your CV will most likely have to be standardized and formatted to forward on to their client or hiring manager. This process usually involves taking off your contact details, to prevent the client circumnavigating the recruiter, and pasting your CV onto the recruiter’s corporate header, so the client is in no doubt where the CV came from. Your CV will almost always be sent on to the client in Word format, as the most widely used document format.
If the recruiter has to spend valuable time trying to convert and edit the document themselves or arrange for someone else to do this for them, you are losing time wasting valuable brownie points.
Check your contact details are up to date. There is probably nothing more frustrating for a recruiter than finding the perfect candidate, only to find they have changed their phone number and not updated their Resume. Mobile phone and email are the contact details of choice for a recruiter.
When did you last update your CV? You may have had a promotion, or been on another course, make sure it’s there on your Resume. It might be as simple as adding an extra piece of software to your CV that you have learned to use, which would now mean that you are selected in a database search using that term. Remember, make it easy for a recruiter to find you when they Boolean search their database.
Don’t just add on your latest job to an old CV. Each time you move on you need to revamp your Resume, remember that it is the most recent jobs that a potential employer is interested in, so edit your CV to include more detail of you most recent jobs and make less of the jobs from the past. This way you will avoid having a rambling CV of little relevance. Read my article on How long should a CV be?
Having taken the time to put your Resume on a database, when a recruiter rings you, try to take the time to have a discussion with them. If the time is inconvenient, then ask them to call back later at a mutually convenient time. Many recruiters are happy to speak to prime candidates even in the evening if it means they can have an uninterrupted conversation. Remember that you will need to impress the recruiter, in order to ensure they represent you in the best possible light with their client.
Take the time to strike up a rapport with your recruiter and you will be amazed at the dividends it will pay in time.Hopefully these tips will help you move on to interview stage when you might find my Interview Advice useful.
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