Recruiters use resumes to identify prospective candidates for
their open positions and to screen candidates to select the
best qualified for further consideration and interviewing.
Providing the information employers need
An employer's initial assessment of a resume usually involves
one or more reviews to determine how closely the person
described in the document matches the profile of an ideal
candidate. In most cases, the information provided in the
resume about a person's field of employment, experience, and
skills is compared to the requirements specified in a position
description or recruiting requisition developed by a human
resource department and/or hiring manager.
Often, a quick evaluation is performed first to eliminate those
individuals who clearly are not qualified for the position
because they have no background in the requisite career field
or lack adequate experience. Then a more detailed assessment
is performed to identify those candidates who best match the
position specifications and should be interviewed by phone
and/or in person.
To best represent you in this evaluation process, your resume
must present your qualifications in the right vocabulary and
in the right place.
- The right vocabulary. Recruiters look for terms that
express the skills and knowledge required to qualify a
candidate for the available job. Because most recruiters
don't have a working background in the technical fields
for which they recruit, the greater the similarity between
the terms they use and the terms found in your resume,
the easier it is for a match to be identified. So express
your qualifications in the vocabulary of recruiters.
To determine the exact words and phrases to use, check
the employment ads in your local newspaper and other
publications for positions similar to the one you're seeking. See how recruiters are describing your skills and
background, and then include their terms in your
- The right place. The sheer volume of resumes that
employers must review for each position precludes them
from spending more than a moment or two on each document. In such a situation, even qualified candidates can
be overlooked if their skills and experience are hard to
find in the body of their resumes. To make sure that your
resume isn't missed for the position you want, summarize your credentials in a paragraph titled "Profile" and
place it at the top of your resume, just above the experience section. Although other sections of your resume
provide much more information about your capabilities,
this up-front summary ensures that even a harried
reviewer can quickly find and evaluate your potential
match with an open position.