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Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Recruiter Resume Example & Writing Guide

You know your recruiter colleagues are going to be pretty picky when it comes to judging the resume of someone — you —who looks at resumes as part of your job. It's tricky being a recruiter who needs to come up with an impressive enough resume to get hired yourself. We’re here to help with some step-by-step writing advice, alongside an adaptable recruiter resume example.
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Recruiter Resume Example & Writing Guide
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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 recruiter resume. 

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. Luckily, you’ve come to the experts!

Our job at Resume.io is to help job seekers in any field showcase their talents from all the right angles to win an interview. Every one of our 350+ occupation-specific resume examples and writing guides have the same objective.

As a recruiter, or someone in human resources who wants to move into recruiting, you know what qualifications to look for in job candidates. But this Resume.io guide will give you tools to optimize the process of sifting through your own experience and attributes to present yourself in the best light.

With reference to a recruiter resume example, we’ll discuss:

  • What recruiters do and what job prospects look like
  • The universally correct structure for a resume and the best format to use
  • How each resume section can help persuade a recruiter colleague that you’re the best hire: header, summary, employment history, education, and skills
  • Viewing your resume document through a recruiter’s lens to ensure it's visually appealing and reader-friendly

In either case, you will benefit from our resume templates and online resume builder as well as the reminders in this guide that will help you craft a resume that: 

  • 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).

First, let’s take an honest look at the role of recruiters and the market for job opportunities.

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 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. To be considered a good candidate for a recruiter position, you need excellent communication skills and the ability to manage several projects at once. 

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.

Statistical insight

The median human resources recruiter salary is about $52,761 a year, according to Payscale.

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.

A special 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:

  • Architecture
  • General Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • IT
  • Oil and Gas
  • Manufacturing

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.

How to write a recruiter resume

As a recruiter who has likely seen quite a few resumes, you can appreciate how much easier it is to easily be able to find the information you’re looking for in the place you expect. That’s why it’s advisable for all resumes, regardless of occupation, to follow the same structure, with the following components:

  • Resume header
  • Summary
  • Employment history
  • Education
  • Skills

We’ll take a closer look at each resume section a bit later on.

Use the ATS to your advantage

Have you worked for an agency or HR department that used an applicant tracking system (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 typically receive resumes after the initial sort, here are some steps for personalizing your resume:

  1. Analyze the job listing and highlight all needed skills and attributes
  2. Mark the ones you have
  3. Check you resume to make sure they are included at least once
  4. 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.

Choosing the best resume format for a recruiter

The chronological resume format is recommended for the majority of job seekers, and it’s also what recruiters generally prefer. It's a straightforward way to review someone’s work experience corresponding to each employee position. Highlights for each job are organized under employer headings, in order from most recent to earliest dates. This effectively tells a story of growth and development over time, typically starting with the most relevant accomplishments.

Other resume formats can be suitable for someone new to the workforce, changing careers, or working independently in freelance or consulting roles. The  functional resume format emphasizes transferable skills rather than employers, while the hybrid (combination) resume format features both chronological and functional elements. 

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Resume header

The header is usually what readers notice first on your resume page, so choose a design that’s attractive and distinctive. The esthetic and practical purpose is to prominently display the identifying information that sets your application apart from others, and make it easy to find when recruiters want to get in touch later: your name, occupation/job title, address, phone number and email. Be sure to include your LinkedIn profile link as well.

Expert tip

The best way to give your job application a professional, put-together look is to use the same header for your cover letter and resume.

Recruiter resume summary example: let your rah-rah personality show

The profile section of your recruiter resume (also known as the summary or personal statement) may not have a game-changing impact initially, but when hiring managers are finalizing their list of top candidates, it can make 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 three-to-five-sentence profile is the place to show off these skills.

This is also where you can inject some personality. Sure, you can do it in your cover letter, but be honest: do you read cover letters before or after you have already narrowed the pool of applicants? You likely agree 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 multitasker 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 adaptable wording below from our recruiter resume example as a guide for crafting your profile.

Adaptable summary resume sample

Astute Recruiter with over 15 years of progressive experience and a track record of 84% success achieving long-term placements. Demonstrated analytical and research skills contribute to optimal talent matches that meet the hiring goals of clients in diverse industries. Reduced productivity losses due to unfilled positions by 32% and hiring timelines by 24%.

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Employment history sample: past and future

You’re used to filling job openings or positions, so you know what the best candidate looks like. A desirable recruiter is an astute problem-solver, adept in assessing needs and creating results. That’s you? Great! But you need to prove it in your resume's employment history section. 

As a recruiter you don’t want to read a list of every responsibility a job seeker has had at every job. No way! What you want are details of accomplishments that prove that your candidate can do the job. That’s your goal as well.

Statistical insight

VIdeo chat interviews are the norm now and that is unlikely to change. But as an HR professional, you should also know that 54 % of Americans who use video chats are concerned about their privacy, according to Mozilla and Ipsos. Make sure your potential employers understand your consideration for interviewee privacy.

Go back to the recruiter job ad and think about how you can prove 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. Employ strong action verbs, data and details as you develop each bullet point in your job descriptions, quantifying if possible, and show a progression of responsibility and knowledge. 

Below is a work history resume example for you to consider. 

Adaptable employment history resume example

Recruiter at Gilt Groupe, New York
May 2013 - Present

  • The most senior recruiter on a team of 16, with a caseload split of about  40% C-suite openings and 60% middle-management.
  • Manage all hiring stages, from sourcing and screening to interviewing and placing of candidates.
  • Pioneered an idea-sharing and success-recognition initiative to promote  strong working relationships and productive collaborations among all the recruiters and support staff.
  • Invited presenter on relationship-building topics at recruiting events and industry conferences.
  • Developed and led a project to support the company’s commitment to equal 0pportunity, diversity and Inclusion.

 

Recruiter at The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., New York
September 2008 - April 2013

  • Coordinated talent sourcing activities within several different branches of the 240-employee organization.
  • Identified areas of the company that needed improvement and developed workforce planning strategies.
  • Created a talent database that reduced sourcing times by 42%.
  • Implemented a mentorship program for newly hired employees to promote job satisfaction and improve retention rates by 36%.
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Recruiter resume education 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.

The education section is a simple listing of your degrees, in reverse chronological order from highest to lowest level. 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 and adding them here in an "Accolades" subsection.

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 your resume education section.

Adaptable education resume example

Bachelor of Human Resource Management, Manhattan College, New York
August 2004 - May 2008

High School Diploma, Marymount High School, New York
September 2000 - May 2004

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CV skills example: bullet point your best

As a recruiter, you know what sections you scan first in a CV. Is the skills section one of them? Probably. This gives you a great overview of not only the 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 stages in 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 five to10 skills to create this section. Below is the  skills section from our recruiter resume example.

Adaptable skills section resume example
  • Talent Assessment and Acquisition
  • High-Volume Staffing
  • Employment Law
  • Social Media Recruiting Tools
  • Contract Negotiations
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Resume layout, design and formatting

You know your eyes help you make quick judgements on resumes, so let’s take a look at design dos and don’ts first.

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.

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.)
Expert tip

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!

Make it easy on yourself to make it easy on your resume readers. By using one of Resume.io's field-tested resume templates with our online resume builder, there's no hassle dealing with layout, design and formatting details. Check out our collection of templates in four style categories: Professional, Modern, Simple, and Creative. With that head start, you can go ahead and write a resume like the ones that impress you!

Key takeaways

  1. As a recruiter, you know the basics, but that means your resume has to be perfect!
  2. Use your knowledge of recruiter language and watch for keywords in the job ad to help you beat the ATS.
  3. Focus on your networking savvy to create the kind of resume your colleagues would be impressed with.
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