If you asked most people what an executive recruiter’s favorite word is – and by this I mean the word they repeat most frequently each and every day – the majority would assume that “resume,” “interview,” “compensation,” or “job” would all be in the running, but they would be wrong.
Hands down, without question, the word that comes out of my mouth or runs through my head countless times each day, more than any other, is… “why.”
A recruiter’s job, as I see it, is to ascertain whether a candidate would be a good fit for a current opening, and the only way to do this is to get answers to the “whys” that inherently come through in every person’s resume.
The key to a successful job search is to look at your resume, experience, and education, and ask yourself what “whys” your background evokes.
Then, to the best of your ability, provide the answers directly on your resume. Given the number of resumes recruiters receive per job posting, if a resume has too many “whys,” it’s automatically moved to a “Review Later” pile – and who knows when that will occur?
Here’s an example of a common “why” I see unanswered on many resumes: Multiple jobs over a few years span. Naturally, this evokes a “Why?”
Clients are very reluctant to hire job hoppers. So, if your resume shows any short tenures and there are valid reasons for each departure, next to each position indicate in a few words why you left. For example, bankruptcy, relocation, recruited by former boss, and so on.
If the “whys” are answered one by one, recruiters keep reading. There aren’t any negative connotations as they review the rest of the resume, because the job history makes sense.
One of the best tips I can give a job seeker is to review his or her resume and try, objectively and with a critical eye, to ask what “whys” may be raised by a recruiter or potential employer.
Then, make sure the questions are answered. If you do this, I can’t guarantee that you will get the coveted job offer every time you apply, but I can guarantee that this simple step will increase the number of responses and interviews that you receive.
There are so many variables that can’t be controlled in a job search, but the “whys” of the resume world can – so why not answer them?
Author: Elisa Sheftic
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