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6 Tips About How To Source Passive Candidates

If you are a recruiter or works in the staffing industry, I’m sure you know that passive candidates are usually the best candidates. But passive recruiting is often easier said than done. You’ll have[...]

November 13, 2018

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Expert Resume Tips to Share with Your Candidates

Independent recruiters know full well that their best shot at getting their candidate’s foot through the door is with an exceptional resume. But crafting the perfect resume is easier said than done – 98% of resumes are rejected during the initial screening. You and your candidate have mere seconds to make a good first impression, so you’d better be sure their resume is flawless. To prevent CVs from ending up in the slush pile or waste bin, here are some resume tips to help your candidates create a simple, compelling masterpiece.

Too Much Creativity Can Be Distracting

We emphasize the power of creative approaches in hiring all the time. Yet if the modern digital aesthetic has taught us anything, it’s that flat, simple designs make the greatest impact. Coach your candidates on how to avoid the pitfalls of being too creative with resume formats. Glitzy, over-the-top resumes won’t do much to help your candidates stand out. Instead, have them focus on customizing the content of the resume to match the job description. Stick to a simple, black-and-white format and scrap the colorful layouts and graphics. Additionally, make sure your candidate’s resume is free of indulgent details and fluffy filler words.

Replace Resume Fat with Muscle: Body-Toning Resume Tips

It can be tricky to find a balance between being succinct and delivering enough information about a candidate. An outstanding resume should be sleek and concise, but it also needs to paint a picture of your candidate’s experience and personality. Here are some ideas:

  • Don’t worry about the objective. Unless the candidate’s situation is unique -- such as a dramatic shift in roles or change of industries -- an objective doesn’t need to be stated. Instead, include a brief and engaging description of top skills and accomplishments.

  • Get rid of irrelevant work experience. Hiring managers don’t need to hear about old jobs that don’t share any duties or skills with the new one. Help your talent narrow down the resume to show only the most recent and relevant jobs that highlight their transferable skills.

  • Don’t overshare. Discussing hobbies can be a powerful interviewing technique, but on a resume, it may serve only to clutter the essential information a hiring manager is seeking. Details like volunteer work are worth mentioning, but they shouldn’t take center stage. Save them for the end of the CV.

  • Save references for later. References are still a big deal, according to hiring managers, but there’s no need to include them on the resume. If the application requests references, candidates will encounter a form when they begin the submission process. Otherwise, the hiring manager will ask them to provide some.

  • Use professional links wisely. If candidates want to include URLs to online work, blogs, websites or social media, make sure they’re professional and relevant to the position. LinkedIn and online portfolios are good choices. Scratch the Twitter handle -- unless, of course, you’re having them apply for a tabloid or President of the United States.

  • Maybe don’t show them the money. The purpose of the resume is to showcase a candidate’s skills, experience, qualifications, and achievements. Making too much or too little could break the deal you’re trying to broker. You also don’t want hiring managers thinking your candidate’s primary motivation is high pay, as that could come across as a flight risk.

  • Keep the font clean. Advise candidates to stick with fonts and typefaces that are clear, legible and translate across operating systems. Traditional serif fonts such as Times New Roman, or a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica are always strong recommendations.

  • Avoid jargon or slang. Steer your talent clear of industry jargon, social media acronyms, Internet slang, memes and anything that would rank in the Urban Dictionary. Candidates should also eliminate hollow buzzwords like “proactive” and “go-getter” from their vocabularies.

  • Don’t include reasons for leaving. Some candidates might think that including an explanation of their former situation would be a “proactive” way to diminish the impact; it’s usually not. Advise them to address the question only if it’s asked. Otherwise, they could be presenting an image that’s not well received by hiring managers.

  • Ditch the pics. Sure, LinkedIn emphasizes the importance of including a profile picture. On a resume, however, embedding an image can be problematic, particularly with job boards that rely on automated text parsing. The unusual formatting can compromise the system, which means the resume could come across as garbled, mismatched syntax.

Become Brand Ambassadors for Your Talent

As independent recruiters, you have become marketing masters, excelling at making a company’s message stand out above the unrelenting traffic. Today’s best candidates have a prime opportunity to leverage recruiters as coaches who can help them propel their careers in new directions. Reward their confidence in you by providing them will stellar recommendations, the best tools, and sound guidance.

Editor’s Note: This post was adapted from a longer article we published in August 2017. You can read the original post here.

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