Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

How does a recruiter find me….

Posted by sweens on January 7, 2009


Today’s blog is sort of a continuation to two earlier blogs and will deal with how a recruiter goes about finding candidates.  In my earlier blogs I wrote about making sure you are able to be found in terms of where to put your CV and where to network.  The focus for today is a realization that a recruiter simply doesn’t go on to Monster or to LinkedIn and randomly search through everyone in the system.  A recruiter has to find a way to narrow the search down.  Sorting through 250 resumes when only 10 of them are the type of candidates your looking for is a waste of time.  Often the positions a recruiter gets need to be filled yesterday so time is always an important factor for a recruiter.  The quicker a candidate can get through the process, the better chance the position will close. 

That being said, lets examine how a recruiter would do a search.  Let’s say for example I’m working on an SAP Project Manager position and the person I’m looking for needs experience with the Plant Maintenance (PM) module.  Searching for SAP would bring me too many candidates to sort through, as SAP has too many modules in too many varied roles.  So rather then sort through a tone of SAP resumes I may search for someone who’s resume has “SAP” AND “Plant Maintenance”.  This would hopefully narrow the search and bring the numbers down.  If that number was again to great, I would then search for someone who’s resume had “SAP” AND “Plant Maintenance” AND “Project Manager” in it.  Why did I tell you this?  I want to emphasis that ‘key words’ are the best way to generate traffic to your resume or profile on any given site as someone is doing a search on ‘key words’ in order to find your profile.  If you are posting an online profile or a generic resume online somewhere you should make an effort to put as many ‘key words’ in your resume to increase the odds of being found. 

Listing a lot of technologies can also be a good thing as technologies are often used as search strings when searching for technical positions in hopes or narrowing the candidacy pool.  Let’s take a .NET platform for example.  If I’m looking for someone with ASP.NET, C#.NET and VB.NET experience but you only write “I’ve developed applications in a .NET platform” you may not be pulling as much attention to yourself as you may want.  What I would recommend for this (and it helps the recruiter – which is never a bad thing) is at the bottom of each position your listing on your resume, write a list of the technologies you used for that position.  That will eliminate a lot of the questions a recruiter may have about what you’ve used in the past and should increase your odds of attacting a recruiter to your CV.  There are many other ways to narrow searches down:  Location; Education; Salary Expectations; etc; so just be aware of this when your putting your resume or profile online.  What you put online could screen you in or out of any given search, so give yourself the best odds of success.

What I don’t mean to imply by this is that someone should just begin to list irrelvant information on their CV.  But if you’ve done .NET development then list all the .NET technologies you’ve used.  If you’ve used more then one SAP module then list the modules rather then just putting SAP.  Put yourself in the mind-set of the recruiter.  Perhaps putting just SAP on your CV will cause a recruiter to pass you by when he is looking for someone with SAP PM.  Listing more information is not necessairly a bad thing and will most likely increase the traffic your resume gets.

Which is never a bad thing…

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