Wednesday, June 17, 2020

What do recruiters look for when screening your resume

I’m sure you are curious as to how recruiters screen your resume through your job application. If you have applied to the position via Jobstreet, you may find this post useful

Before going through the applications, the recruiters will always familiarise themselves with the job description first. Picking up the important details is necessary as we illustrate in our minds who are the best suitable candidate for this position. Therefore, I highly advise you to read the job description as well and think to yourself - is the position suitable for you? 

I will spend some time guiding you on reading the job description if you stick around here. At the mean time, let's dig into the details of your resume that recruiters are focusing on.

Step 1:

Education background (2 seconds view)

If you are applying for a technical position, education is the first thing we take note. Education background is a pre-requisite for a lot of positions such as medical, engineering, human resources, legal, civil engineering, architecture, etc. 

Working experience (5 seconds)

If the education background fits, we will move into the working experience. As a fresh graduate, it is crucial for you to include your part-time job, internship, NGO initiatives, etc. These are the areas that show your commitment to your job and also the recruiters can have a clearer picture of what you are capable to achieve. A mere part-time job in a fast-food chain shows that you have communication skills and also able to stick up to a fast-paced environment. Do not leave these details even though you think the job is trivial - it is not. 

Do take your time to elaborate on your daily tasks and responsibilities. If there is any, illustrate some success story from your projects or achievements in your position. DO NOT leave your resume with your job title and company name assuming the recruiters know what you do.

A resume that does not elaborate on the job functions often will be discarded because lack of information and recruiters do not have the time to call you and check on your work experiences. Resumes that are more comprehensive will be shortlisted for the hiring manager's review. 

Step 2:

Career progress (10 seconds)

In the case of experienced candidates, recruiters will zoom into the chronology of the working experience and keep a trail of the career progress, job change and also try to reason why the candidate progresses from one job to another. 

Some job change makes sense to the recruiters, but some aren't. The odd ones are - accepting a lower salary within the same job scope and industry, accepting lower responsibility - these are some abnormalities as we assume one should advance themselves and not taking steps backward. 

Location of the candidate (1 second view)

In my previous post, I did mention that candidates often leave out their location/address. Location plays an important role of being shortlisted. For example, if the job placement is in Johor Bahru, the employer would prefer to hire someone within the same state as opposed to someone who is from Perlis. 

There are many reasons to this - locality convenience, environment-fit, social responsibility that the company has towards the local community, and smooth transition for the new hire. 

Step 3

At this point, if your resume is still being screened, the possibility of your fit for the job is high. In the last stage of screening, the recruiters will pick up the very important details such as your skills, knowledge, industrial network, etc. If is it not clear in your resume, you might expect a call from them. 

I will also try to do a job match percentage from the job description comparing with the resume and see what is the likelihood the hiring manager will shortlist this candidate for interview. 

When proposing to the hiring manager, I will be very truthful to let them know which area the candidate can be developed and trained and which are the valuable skills that we want to assess in the interview. 

Again, I hope these tips are able to help you put more thoughts into writing your resume. Do leave a comment if there is anything you want to clarify.  I will try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge. 

1 comment

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