Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Updated Job Search Strategy - Directly from Recruiters and Sourcers

Last week, I spent three days in San Diego at the Career Director's International annual conference. I learned so much about the resume writing, career coaching and career development industry. However, there was one session I thought you might be particularly interested to hear recapped. For an hour, we were able to ask four recruiters and human resources professionals questions about their thoughts, preferences, and recommendations for job seekers. Here are some highlights.

  • Although all the recruiters said their company uses some kind of electronic database, also known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), they also cautioned that the systems are not the same. Therefore, they recommend to keep your resume uncomplicated without lots of text boxes and columns so it can be seen properly in any system. 
  • The recruiters cautioned job seekers about losing the "human element" of the resume by focusing too hard on making the ATS happy.
  • All the hiring professionals said they still do a 15-second scan of the resume. The first impression is still very important when capturing their attention.
  • Following up is highly recommended. One recruiter went so far as to suggest connecting with them on LinkedIn and sending a personalized message as a follow-up after submitting your resume online. One of the recruiters cautioned that there is a big difference between follow-up and stalking!
  • Every recruiter agreed that the resume is not dead, dying, or even in critical condition. None of them foresee an immediate future with no resumes. 
  • Each of these HR professionals mentioned their use of LinkedIn. They are using it to find and connect with potential candidates and research candidates before an interview. They strongly suggested having a PROFESSIONAL photo on LinkedIn to go with your profile.
There you have it, important information straight from the professionals that are screening resumes, interviewing candidates and making hiring decisions. All these are solid pieces of advice that can jump-start your job search.

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