Certified Professional Resume Writer

Recruiting 101:
What Do Recruiters Really Want?

By Greg Faherty, CPRW





Recruiters play a big role in your job search, whether you know it or not. Even if you're not using recruiters as part of your job search strategy, the fact is most companies use them. Which is why it's important to know the likes and dislikes of recruiters when it comes to resumes. After all, they're the ones responsible for putting your resume into a company's hands.

Based on information from surveys conducted in 2009 and 2010, here are some interesting Recruiter facts you should consider before sending your resume out:

1. When asked if they looked at personal websites or resume web pages listed on applicants' resumes, 15% answered "Always" and 15% answered "Never." 70% answered "Sometimes."

Translation: It doesn't hurt to have an online resume, but it probably doesn't help, either.

2. When asked if they wanted to see references listed on a resume, 81% of recruiters answered "No." The other 19% answered, "It doesn't matter."

Translation: Don't waste space on your resume listing references.

3. When asked if grammar, spelling, and punctuation are important on a resume, 92% of recruiters responded, "Any mistakes on a resume show that the applicant isn't serious about making a good impression." 8% answered, "A couple of mistakes are acceptable, but more than that isn't good."

Translation: If you have any typos on your resume, odds are you aren't getting the interview.

4. When asked for their preferred method for finding candidates, the Number One answer from recruiters was through job advertisements in newspapers. The Number Two answer was job fairs. The Number Three answer was through networking.

Translation: Translation: Even in the electronic age, it's still vital to answer newspaper ads and attend job fairs if you want to get a job.

As part of Question 4, employers were asked the same question about finding candidates: Their Top 3 answers, in order, were: Recruiters, Newspaper Ads, and Company Website Postings.

Translation: If you're not using a recruiter for your job search, you're hurting your chances of getting a job.

5. Recruiters were asked if they would ever watch an online video resume if forwarded a link to one.

50% said "No." Only 12% said, "Yes." And 38% said they'd never had an applicant use one, so they weren't sure if they'd bother watching.

Translation: While it won't hurt you to have one, don't count on anyone seeing your video resume.

Hopefully, these looks into how recruiters think will help you when it comes to developing your job search strategy.

Additional Recruiter Insights
  • 65% of recruiters use electronic screening and keyword searches to find resumes.
  • 77% of recruiters felt that a resume should not be longer than two pages.
  • More than 50% of recruiters dislike resumes that are heavy with graphics or fancy fonts.
  • 77% of recruiters say that they receive as many as 200 resumes for each open position.

Links to Helpful Resume Articles

Why Isn't My Phone Ringing?
The Modern Resume—Do You Have One?
The "WOW" Factor—What Does It Really Mean?
How to Pick the Right Resume Company
LinkedIn—The Advantage is Yours
Job Hunting in the Digital Age
Shifting Gears
A Roadmap to Succes
Top 10 Worst Resume Mistakes
Think Young to Get Work
Staying Employed
Recruiting 101
Practical Career Advice
Making a Good Impression
Improve Your Odds of Getting an Interview
Format for Success
Effort vs. Value
Changing with the Times
Career Search Mistakes
Applying Yourself Correctly: Maximizing Your Resume Responses
Interview Success: Answering the Tough Questions
Resume Doís and Doníts, Pt. I
Resume Doís and Doníts, Pt. II
Cover Letters
Thank You Letters and Reference Pages
Electronic & Scannable Resumes
The Curriculum Vitae
Other Resume Formats
Networking for Jobs
How to Use Your New Resume
What About Keywords
Interview Tips: Putting Yourself in the Best Light




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