How Recruiters Read Resumes In 10 Seconds or Less

  1. Location. If the client is in Cape Town | Gauteng and you aren’t – this is a no go. Few if any clients want to relocate anyone in this economy, and I believe most shouldn’t have to. Especially in a huge metropolitan area like Cape Town | Gauteng. If they do have to consider relocation the position has to require some very unique experience that few jobs do. I can do this in about 1 second.
  2. Industry.If my client is in banking and your background is primarily manufacturing – this is a no go.  These two often are so different that the client isn’t open to considering such different industries. This works both ways, if you have a manufacturing background I’m not going to consider someone with banking. 2-3  seconds to determine this.
  3. Function.If I’m doing a Developer search and your background isn’t IT – this is a no go. Generally companies are paying recruiters to find them a perfect fit. We never do find a perfect fit, but we have to be very close. They don’t need a recruiter to find them someone in a completely different function. 2 seconds to figure this one out.
  4. Level.If I’m doing a VP level search and your title is “manager” and you have never been a VP – this is a no go. There are exceptions to this, but again it is the 80/20 rule. Again, clients pay me to find them the perfect fit. It is generally way too big of a jump from manager level to VP level, all other things being equal. It works the other way too. If  I’m looking for a manager and you are a VP – this is a no go. I know you are qualified to do a manager level role, but it is clear you have grown past. Most clients and recruiters aren’t willing to take the chance that when a VP level position comes along that you won’t be gone. Less than 5 seconds to figure out.
  5. Recent Experience.There is some overlap on this one. If I’m searching for someone with Intermediate development experience in the banking industry and the last time you held an development role was 1 year ago and since then you have been in development – this is a no go.  I can find people with more relevant experience and that is what my client expects me to do. 5 seconds to do this.
  6. EducationLike it or not, I will only work with people that have a college education and most of the time a National Diploma or Bachelor’s degree. This is mainly because, as I indicated before, I need to find the very best for my clients. I realize an education doesn’t mean by itself that the candidate is the best, but it is one qualifier of many. Also all of my clients require at least a IT Tertiary education.
  7. Turnover.If you have had 6 jobs in the last 4 years, or have a track record of high turnover – this is a no go. I realize there are good reasons for turnover and that falls into the 20% of the 80/20 rule. I can’t define high turnover, but I know it when I see it. 3 – 5 seconds.
  8. Functional resume.I don’t read them. It is obvious when one has a functional resume they are trying to hide something and I’m rarely going to take the time to attempt to figure it out. 1 second.
  9. Obvious thingssuch as, spelling errors, poor format, errors in grammar, too long, verbose and rambling. If after reading it I still can’t figure out what you do, this is a no go. 5 – 10 seconds

After all this, 80 – 100% have been eliminated. If there are any left, then I will take the time to actually read  them in detail.