You’re usually on the receiving end of job applications. You know what you look for in a great resume, but critiquing someone else’s work is very different from creating your own. Luckily, you’ve come to the experts!
We don’t have to tell you what recruiters look for in resumes, right? Do you keep your own list of how to assess job applications or do you work on intuition? Even if you consider yourself the best at separating the wheat from the chaff, we bet you haven’t looked at resumes for recruiters before. It certainly doesn’t hurt to get some advice as you begin your job search. Your colleagues and their hiring managers are going to be pretty picky when it comes to judging the resume of someone who looks at resumes as part of their job.
You are probably aware that with high unemployment comes a reduction in the need for recruiters; however, as the market picks up, demand for your skills will, too. And if you happen to have a specialty area, you have a leg up and may not have seen a decrease in demand at all.
As a recruiter, or someone in human resources who wants to move into recruiting, you know what skills you look for in candidates, but this Resume.io guide will give you tools to guide you through the process of sifting through your own experience and attributes to present yourself in the best light.
- Sets you apart in the eyes of your colleagues
- Uses design to your advantage
- Creates a story of your career success
- Shines a light on your achievements
- Takes into account Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Before you go right to the builder tool and start creating, let’s take an honest look at the market for recruiters.
What does a recruiter do?
Recruiters are people who work to fill job openings or positions with qualified individuals. Recruiters might work for companies, schools, or staffing agencies. Recruiters review resumes to find desirable candidates, and sometimes solicit qualified individuals for jobs. The goal of a Recruiter is to find a suitable worker for an empty position. Recruiters might also be given the task of recruiting athletes for sports teams in the professional sector or for academic institutions. In order to be considered a good candidate for a Recruiter position, one must possess excellent communication skills and the ability to manage several projects at once. Read more on how to write your impressive Recruiter resume below.
Looking for other related HR roles? Check out these Human Resource resume examples.
Recruiter job trends reflected in your resume
High unemployment means that companies will have plenty of candidates and the pressure will be on recruiters to make sure they find the best of the best.
Recruiters work either in-house for an individual company or for a recruitment agency that finds candidates for client companies. There are some big differences between the two, and, in fact, moving from one to the other is sometimes seen as hopping the fence to the other side.
The advantages to in-house recruiting is that you have a steady, salaried job. You are not fighting other recruiters for clients or to find the best candidate. If you are ambitious and would like to move out of recruiting, an in-house job may offer you that chance. You may have more involvement in employee development, administration and operations, giving you a broader experience base and you will be working with other HR professionals from whom you can learn. You will also avoid cold calling, so if that’s not something you enjoy, in-house recruiting may be the way to go.
If you’re more of a salesperson, you may find a job at a recruitment agency more suited to you because you are likely to have a base salary, but be incentivized with commission There you will find a team of people to bounce ideas off and maybe even someone who has a great candidate for the job you are trying to fill. You may also be exempt from some of the administrative tasks that will be part of your job in a human resources department. Agencies are also faster paced than in-house positions, so take the pace in which you like to work into account when you decide where you want to work.
Key Fact: Even when the economy is struggling, employers are still willing to pay top dollar for great recruiters to keep them positioned well for the future, according to the Human Resources Certification Institute.
An area of expertise may make all the difference for you. If you are looking for an entry-level position in recruiting or you have industry expertise and want to make the leap to recruiting, you will want to target agencies that specialize in your area. Industry verticals that agencies cater to run the gamut. Here are some areas of specialization:
- General Engineering
- Oil and Gas
As a job seeker, you may want to explore both options, but take the time to tailor your resume to the type of job (and the specific job) that you are targeting.
You know your eyes help you make quick judgements on resumes, so let’s take a look at design do’s and don’ts first.
Choose the right recruiter resume design, layout and formatting
Unless you are in the hunt for an entry level job, you have seen hundreds of resumes from job seekers, so you’re well ahead of the game. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What layout errors made me toss a resume aside without reading it?
- Which design features made me want to read more about a candidate?
- How long did I take to sort resumes into “yes,” “no,” and “maybe” piles?
You’re up against your own mindset and that of your colleagues, so your layout and formatting must be perfect. Perhaps you already know how to make your layout attract the right attention, but here are some reminders as you begin to envision what you want your resume to look like.
- Use the fonts you like to read. Legibility is more important than art here.
- Allow for plenty of white space. (Don’t narrow the margins to cram in more information.) Again, you’re aiming for easy-to-read.
- Keep it easy to navigate with clear section headings and contact information. (Make sure you add your LinkedIn profile if you have one.)
Now here are a few mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t go over two pages. Do you want to read a short story when you are looking to fill a position?
- Keep important information out of headers and footers in case the ATS can’t scan them.
- Profile photos or graphics are unnecessary. (As an HR professional you know that companies don’t want to be accused of being influenced by a person’s looks.)
You know what you’re doing, but take it from us: You always need another set of eyes on your work. How many resumes have you winced at because you found errors in them? Make sure you have someone else review your work!
Now we’ll show you how to write a resume like the ones that impress you!
Summary CV example: let your rah-rah personality show
Your profile section (also known as a professional summary) may not be the first section hiring managers, but when they (or you as a recruiter) are finalizing their list of top candidates, the profile makes a big difference.
As a recruiter, you have to be a combination of salesperson and cheerleader. You need to pump up the job you are trying to fill and the company that has the opening. You also need to generate a great pool of applicants. Your 3-5 sentence profile is the place to show off these skills.
The median human resources recruiter salary is about $50,000 a year, according to Payscale.
This is also where you can inject some personality. Sure, you can do it in your cover letter (see our templates and examples here), but be honest: Did you read cover letters before or after you had already narrowed the pool of applicants? You know that your resume offers you the best chance to get yourself an interview, so make the most of it!
Make sure you tout your biggest achievements with strong words. Use data and details to back you up. Think about your expertise. Are you great at finding just the right candidate for tough-to-fill jobs? Are you a multi-tasker capable of juggling many accounts? Do you have an extensive social media network you use to place job postings and get referrals of excellent candidates? Make sure you highlight those skills. Stay on this side of exaggerating, but definitely be proud of your competencies.
Use the Applicant Tracking System to Your Advantage
Have you worked for an agency or HR department that used an ATS? They are great for inputting the data from all the applications you received, right? They also helped make your job easier by doing the initial sorting in the hiring process. This time, you’re the one being sorted, so make sure you end up in the right pile.
Dig into the website of the company you are applying to and find out which ATS it uses. Who knows? You may have experience with it that will give you an edge when it comes to customizing your resume to beat pass this first hurdle. If the ATS process is a bit of a mystery since you received resumes after the initial sort, here are some steps for personalizing your resume:
- Analyze the job listing and highlight all needed skills and attributes
- Mark the ones you have
- Check you resume to make sure they are included at least once
- Use exact keywords and phrases from in the job listing.
You know the difference between a generic resume that a candidate has sent out over and over and one in which the job seeker has taken the time to target your job description.
Use the example text below as a guide for crafting your profile.
Experienced and effective Recruiter adept in all aspects of recruitment support and solutions. Bringing forth several years of industry experience and expertise in talent sourcing, screening, interviewing, and placing. Equipped with a diverse and promising skill-set, conducive to providing optimal support to HR business partners, organizations, and hiring managers.
Employment history recruiter example: past and future
You’re used to filling job openings or positions with qualified individuals, so you know what one looks like. A desirable recruiter is a strong problem-solver, adept in assessing needs and creating results. That’s you. Great! But you need to prove it in your employment history section. You don’t want to read a list of every responsibility a job seeker has had at every job. No way! What you want is a detailing of accomplishments that prove that your candidate can do the job. That’s your goal as well.
VIdeo chat interviews are the norm now and that is unlikely to change when the pandemic ends, but as an HR profession, you should also know that 54 percent of Americans who use video chats are concerned about their privacy, according to Mozilla and Ipsos. Make sure potential employers understand you consider interviewee privacy.
Go back to the recruiter job listing and think about how you can prove that you have what it takes to find and retain great people. Every job is different! If you are looking for a job in a specialized recruitment agency or industry vertical and you have work experience in that industry, make sure you include that. You are much more likely to understand the skills and attributes necessary to do a great job if you have done it yourself.
Before you begin compiling your work experience section , make a list of all your jobs, job titles, and the dates you worked at each. Then add the best of what you have achieved at each one. Then think of the evidence you would like to see to back it up. Cater to your instincts as a recruiter. You never know exactly what an employer is looking for, but as a talent acquisition specialist yourself, you know better than most. Then, employ strong action verbs, data and details as you develop each bullet point in your job descriptions and show a progression of responsibility and knowledge.
Below is a work history resume example for you to consider.
- Served as an enthusiastic and effective recruiter for the Gilt Groupe.
- Managed full-cycle recruiting: sourcing, screening, interviewing, and placing of candidates.
- Worked to maintain strong working relationships with the Human Resources staff, resulting in positive and productive collaborations.
- Attended recruiting events and industry conferences to build relationships and source candidates.
- Handled various special projects based on need and demand.
- Managed social media and job board postings for open positions.
- Worked to wholly support our corporate commitment to Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Education section example: show off your expertise
Most employers want HR recruiters to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the type of recruiting you would like to do, you may have a business or human resources major or a major in a field in which you have years of experience before deciding to switch to recruiting in that area. If you are looking for an industry-specific job, your education is an important addition to your application.
Your Education Section is a simple listing of your degrees. You know your GPA isn’t relevant unless you are fresh out of school and you had a 4.0. Instead, if you have earned any industry honors or awards, consider changing this section title to Education and Accolades and adding them here.
Alternatively, you may include a section called Accolades and Affiliations since as a recruiter, demonstrating your networking efforts is a benefit.
Below is an example of how to format this section.
- 2001-2005 Darien High School, High School Diploma, Darien, CT
- 2005-2009 Hunter College, Bachelor of Communications, NY, NY
Recruiter skills section: bullet point your best
As a recruiter, you know what sections you scan first in a resume. Is the skills section one of them? Probably. This gives you a great overview of not only what skills and attributes a candidate has, but also the key skills they believe are most important.
We already talked about how important it is for you to target each job with a revised resume. There are several places within the hiring process where you can end up in the “no” pile and this is one of them.
To help you avoid that, make a “Master List” of all your skills and attributes. Then, separate your skills into categories. You may want to divide them by soft skills and hard skills or perhaps rank them by how desirable they are in recruiting candidates, or how specialized they are.
Cherry-pick your top 5-10 skills to create this section.
- Strong Communication Skills
- Time Management Skills
- Relationship Building Skills
- Analyzing Employment Metrics
- Social Media Savvy
- Staffing Engineering Firms a Specialty
- As a recruiter, you know the basics, but that means your resume has to be perfect!
- Use your knowledge to help you beat the ATS
- Focus on your networking savvy