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  • Writer's pictureGayle Draper ICHR

5 Ways to Navigate The Treacherous Path to the Elusive Short List.

Please know that recruiters don't review every application word for word. They would like to, but it's just not possible.

Software tools and key words driven by the job description are used to decide who to screen-in during the recruiter’s quest to find the perfect short list of candidates. Remember there are different types of recruiters. They may be:

  • specialized, independent contractors sourced to facilitate the success of the HR department;

  • the in-house recruiter who is a member of the HR department, hiring for multiple locations;

  • the sole HR staff person who is a Generalist, juggling many responsibilities;

  • the department manager with no specific training, doing the best they can.

Prepare For the Journey, Before You Begin

1. Don’t let ATS detour you off the path, never be seen again

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by larger companies to manage their recruiting process. Key words are determined from the job description and used by ATS to effectively eliminate applicants without the required skills and competencies. Then, the candidates passing this hurdle have their resume scanned by the human eye for approximately 6 precious seconds. Statistics prove you have only a 3 percent chance of getting an in-person interview, when you apply online and have not used an ATS designed resume.

2. Six precious seconds

If you have beaten the ATS system, studies show your resume will have six precious seconds to be scanned by the recruiter’s eye. Your branding statement, accomplishments, core competences and employment history need to be reader friendly. Have friends and family read for only six seconds and give you feedback. An effective resume layout, framework and design are pivotal for your success. Consider the investment of a resume writer, which will give you an exceptional return on your investment for today and for every workday in your future because you will be working at the job you wanted and won.

3. Your resume is a mirage

Writing a great resume is really hard work that requires the skills that many of us do not practice until they are needed. Research the company extensively, connect with staff you may know through your network and then strategize your resume to show how you will fit with the role and company. Deciding what the recruiter wants is a real challenge, if you over sell, you may come across as over confident, self centered and not the team player needed. Integrity is critical.

4. Sync your LinkedIn Profile and Customized Resume

Your resume and LinkedIn profile need to harmonize with each other to showcase your talents, accomplishments and career history. If they don’t match for employment history a busy recruiter won’t take the time to figure it out, they will move on to the next person who has spent the time writing a profile that is true, memorable and also complements the customized resume.

5. Your resume doesn’t answer ‘Why Interview You’

Your end goal is to have the recruiter present you and your value to the interview team. Make it easy for them by showcasing your accomplishments and how you attained them. Prove the results of your work with factual examples. These are the qualities the recruiter is hunting for on their quest to find the perfect short list of candidates.

Engage change; learn the latest job search strategies and you will be on that list.


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