The Truth About Recruiters

Most people reading this will have a thing or two to say about recruiters, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Well, join the queue. Even I do, and I was once one. 

You apply for a role, and you're absolutely convinced you can do the job. Somehow or other, your CV doesn't end up in front of the client, and you don't score an interview. Frustrating. 

I've been on both sides of the recruitment fence — as a candidate and as a recruitment consultant. Here's what I've learned that will help relieve you of some pain.

Here's the thing: even though there are some lackluster recruiters out there, some actually do care about candidates. Yet ultimately, it's their client who pays them.

A good recruiter could've spent more than a year convincing their client that they know the market, the industry, and how to find them the right person. The raw truth is that the recruiter simply has too much invested in this to take a risk on blowing it.

Recruiters and hiring managers are bombarded with CVs — some relevant, some not even in the right ballpark. I cringe at the state of some of the CVs I sent out during my career. I applied for jobs with no relevant experience other than me thinking:  

"Yeah, I can do that; that sounds interesting", and then blindly hitting the apply now button and attaching a CV I used for a totally different job. I now see how bad it looked. Jaysus, how did I think I was going to get a call — let alone an interview?

A recruiter often has thousands of CVs to go through. When they first look at your CV, they give it about six seconds of their time. And they're not doing that to see if it will make it into the YES pile — they're doing it to see if it goes on the NO pile. Yep, your CV is playing the elimination game.

If you want to make it into the YES pile, you need a cracker of a CV. Here are five quick tips to get you started:

  1. Keep it to 2 to 3 pages — maximum
  2. Introduce yourself with a profile overview; the first half-page is crucial
  3. Break up bulky paragraphs with bullets, and lead the reader through your top achievements — not just a list of duties you've performed
  4. Keep it real; jargon and long words don't impress
  5. Stating you work well individually or in a team is not a unique skill; highlight where and how you make/made a real difference

Recruiters work in a service role, and the customer is the client. If the client has given them some specific detail about what they want, then that's what the recruiter has to go and find. If you don't fit the bill, they can't help and don't always have time to tell you why or explain what you can do to improve your chances.  

Chances are, if you have sent your CV ten times or more but just aren't getting the call, then it's time to rethink the CV.

If you want more advice on the secrets of a successful CV, then check out my new workshop. I'll share all the inside info on creating a sh*t hot CV that gets an interview every time you hit apply.

Now, how freaking good does that sound?

Rescue Your Resume Workshop


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