Wood Words

Are You “In” or “Out?” How Middle TN recruiters screen resumes – and how you can make the cut

You put so many hours into perfecting your resume – choosing the right format, carefully selecting keywords, honing your summary…

…but a recruiter or hiring manager may spend less than one minute scanning your resume.

One minute?!?

It may seem unfair – even disrespectful – but it’s a harsh job-search reality.  Within a few moments of viewing your resume, a recruiter may decide your fate within his organization; namely, whether or not you get called for an interview.

So if you’re on the job hunt in Murfreesboro, Nashville, Cool Springs or Hendersonville, how can you make sure your resume is ruled in – and not out?

Don’t get frustrated.  Get ready!  At Wood Personnel, we believe that knowledge is power.  Today, we’re “pulling back the curtain” and summarizing how a recruiter rapidly reviews the dozens, or hundreds, of resumes that are submitted in response to a job posting.  While each individual has his preferences, here’s a quick rundown of what most look for:

Geography.  Do you live close to where work is to be performed? This is important for many entry- and mid-level positions, as relocation for positions is often not feasible.

Related experience.   What’s your background?  If you’ve worked in manufacturing all your life and the available position is administrative, a recruiter may instantly take a pass.

Your role or function within the industry.  What’s your job title?  A potential employer is looking for a perfect match.  As such, a recruiter may give preference to those who have held the types of jobs that match his selection criteria.

Level of experience.  Logically, if you’ve held only entry level positions and the available job is in middle management, you may not make the cut.  The reverse may also be true: if you’re a senior executive applying for a receptionist position, a hiring manager may count you out based on your experience mismatch.

How recent your experience is.  Right or wrong, a long time away from the workplace or a significant gap in recent work history can take you out of the running.

Tenure.  If you’ve been a job-hopper (and provide no reasonable explanation), a hiring manager may discount your experience and qualifications.

Education.  If a master’s degree is a job requirement and you don’t have one, you may instantly be rejected.

Attention to detail.  Typos, sloppy formatting, lengthy content, etc. will be counted as strikes against you.

Bear in mind that there are exceptions to each of these.  They’re general guidelines which will vary based on who’s reviewing your resume and the kind of job you’re after.  But if you’re applying for any role, make sure:

  • You meet the basic qualifications of the job.  Don’t waste your, or the recruiter’s, time.
  • Your resume reflects what’s advertised (i.e., customize your resume for each job to which you apply).
  • You include relevant keywords or phrases that mirror the position.
  • You explain a significant gap in your resume in your cover letter.

Need more advice?  Read this post on how to write a great resume. Or, just give Wood Personnel a call!  With a team of experienced recruiting experts, and great jobs in Murfreesboro, we have the resources to help you find that perfect position.