How Much Time Does A Recruiter Spend On Your Resume?

Not very much.

I know that sucks. You spend a lot of time & effort in making sure your resume is well prepared, accurate and attractive. You make sure its professional and yet not common, makes you stand out and yet not sound boastful. Some even hire specialists to help them make a resume that does all the above.

And yet, the recruiter only spends maybe 20-30 seconds the first time they encounter your resume.

Let me talk about the reasons first, and then we will talk about what to do.

Here are the reasons:

1. With the online method of application, one can apply to jobs in a simple click. This maybe good when you are applying, but it is disastrous at the other end. The sheer number of resumes that flow in for any position is large and sometimes it is a deluge.

2. Everybody applies. There seems to be no think and apply strategy here. Since it is so easy to apply (monster, for e.g. lets you apply to a number of jobs together!) some don’t even read what the requirements are.

3. The new recruiter is very excited with the number of responses, until she starts sifting through them. Junk Junk & more junk. Pretty soon, she is bored!

What do you need to do?

1. Apply only to jobs you really are interested in. Don’t send your resume to every thing that comes up on your job search.

2. Tailor your resume for the job you are applying for. I have received the same resume from candidates for the positions of Restaurant Manager, Food & Beverage Manager and General Manager.

3. Know what the recruiter is looking for. You will see this in the candidate specifications.
a. If the recruiter has specified an area of expertise, highlight that.
b. If the emphasis is on experience, bold that.
c. If the thrust is on a particular company or location, lead with that.

4. Forget attachments. Put your resume in the mail. It is cumbersome to open attachments.

5. See how your summary looks. Most sites (naukri, monster, timesjobs) have a summary of your resume sent to the recruiter. She may not go further than that if the summary does not talk about what she is looking for.

6. Make your resume jump/stand out. Do something unconventional with your resume. Some caution here, do not make it a presentation, do not make it in rainbow colors.

All in all, you have to ensure you pass the screening stage. Post that, most recruiters will spend a considerable amount of time on it.

The job of a resume is to get you an interview. period.

A resume is not supposed to get you selected, that is what an interview is for.  The resume should be able to show the recruiter, the company, the boss that you are someone he/she would like to have in his/her team.

When does that happen?

When your resume answers the questions that the recruiter / company/ boss is seeking answers to.

All of us have an objective on the resume. If you dont, you probably missing out on the Headline of the news item that is your application!

Let me show you two examples.

1. "To contribute to a business that focuses on delivering value, quality & sustained customer satisfaction."

2."To work in an esteemed organization, which offers tremendous growth potential and wide exposure to the latest technologies, by applying the best business practices through innovative solutions and constantly updating my skills."

I dont understand the use? What is the intended purpose here?
What are they trying to say?

Your resume is an expensive real estate. 
It is advertising and it is expensive.
Think of every inch of paper having a value of INR 10000/- 
Now tell me, would you pay that much money to put something like that on your advertisement?

NO? I didn't think so either.

By all means, have an objective, but make it specific.
Call it an Immediate career goal or why you are applying to that company or for that position.

Here is an example of a good one:
" Seeking assignments in Sales & Marketing, Public Relation, Customer Servicing, Business Development & Credit Control with an organization of repute"

(personally, the organization of repute part is not required. If you are applying somewhere, you are not going to tell them they are not of repute!) But the rest of the stuff is great!

Here is a simple template or format for your objective:

'Applying for / Seeking <job title / type of work/ area of work/ level of work/ > positions/ opportunities with <company / industry> thereby making the most effective use of my talents, learning & experience.

Here is a simple template or format for your objective:

'Applying for / Seeking <job title / type of work/ area of work/ level of work/ > positions/ opportunities with <company / industry> thereby making the most effective use of my talents, learning & experience.

Spend some time creating 2/3 objectives for yourself

Want to see more sample objectives? Click here

When applying for a job in the hospitality or food and beverage industry, it is important to stand out from the other candidates. To do this, make sure that you have a clear message, or objective, that you can communicate throughout your résumé and interview. You can choose to keep your objective implicit (a guiding principle that drives your decisions on what skills you emphasize) or to make it explicit by actually writing it on your résumé.

Below, I list specific objectives for you to view. Feel free to skip to those immediately, or continue reading to find out more about what a résumé objective is, whether you need one, and how to make yours stand out.

What Is a Résumé Objective?

A résumé objective is a short, pithy statement summarizing what you hope to accomplish with your résumé. Think of it as the one point you want your potential employer to take away from reading the whole page. It should be a specific sentence detailing what position you want, and what skills you will bring to it.

Do You Really Need an Objective on Your Résumé?

Objectives were more important in the past than they are now. They are best for candidates with little experience but a strong sense of purpose for why a specific job will be an excellent fit for them and and their career path. If you already have a wealth of experience, consider writing an executive summary instead.

However, while many employers say that they do not require an objective and do not generally find them helpful, a particularly well-crafted statement may still catch their attention.

All this being said, whether or not you write your objective down on your résumé, it is always important to have one prepared in your mind. For every potential job, think about your objective—what you want your employer to take away—and tailor how you showcase your skills in your résumé and interview in order to support that objective.

The Components of a Good Objective

A good objective is actually not about you—it’s about your employer. Take a second and put yourself in the prospective company’s shoes. What would the ideal employee for the position be like? You want your objective to jump out and make your employer think, “That’s exactly what I am looking for!”

Here are some tips for a well-crafted objective statement:

  • Be employer-oriented. Don’t think about why you want the job. Think about why the job is looking to hire you.
  • Explain why you are the best fit. Highlight the skills that the employer will be looking for. Also try to indicate how this job fits within your overall career plans—this will make it sound like you know what you are looking for and you are serious about the position.
  • Be specific. You should know exactly what position you desire and exactly what skills apply. Do not say, “To work with Human Resources, utilizing my communication skills.” Try, “To work as an Operations manager, utilizing my skills in Excel and in crafting clear and concise documentation in order to strengthen existing systems and build new time-saving procedures.”

The General Formula

This formula, while you can use it exactly, is more to give you a general idea of how you can word your objective. Tweak and add to it in order to suit your needs.

“Obtain a (specific role) position at (company), where I can utilize my skills (skill 1), (skill 2), and (skill 3).”


Sample Objective Statements

Here are a few examples of objective statements. Note that, as is the case with all well-crafted objective statements, these are highly specific. These scenarios may be different from your own, and are meant to be examples to give you the gist of what goes into a quality objective statement. Customize them to fit your own specific job and qualifications.

Example Hospitality Industry Objectives

My career objectives are twofold. It is my goal to deliver my duties as (position)to the fullest satisfaction of all members of (company), using my skills with customer service. Finally, as my long term objective, I would like to continue working for the betterment of the company, taking on new responsibilities until I can serve as part of the management.

My goal is to become the point person for (position) within (company), utilizing and building upon my skills in sourcing, wholesale, retail, and operating by continuously contributing to the company and seeking out professional development.

To work as (position) to be a catalyst at growth at (company) by working efficiently and effectively toward (organization goals).

Example Client Servicing Objectives

To work as (position) to ensure customer satisfaction by achieving delivery of service quality norms through interaction with clients, prompt handling of guest requests, and complaint resolution.

I am seeking a full-time position with (company) as (position). I am confident that I can achieve high rates of customer satisfaction by interacting with guests for quick resolutions to their problems and providing high quality services.

To work as (position) within a growing organization that offers challenges and the opportunity to grow with the company. I wish to contribute my current skills attending to clients' needs and maintaining a professional demeanor to your company because I respect the professional environment in which goals and objectives are clearly established and the tools to reach such goals are provided.

A highly recognized hotel management professional offering over 10 years of enhancing organizations' bottom-lines through a customer-centric approach and excellent leadership and interpersonal skills. Seeking a challenging position as(specific role) in order to help grow (company)'s reputation as it continues to expand.

To work as (position) within (company). I am drawn to this organization because it provides opportunities for growth and recognition. My experience in taking initiatives, accepting responsibilities, making snap decisions that put the customer first, and working with a team will allow me to thrive in such an environment.

Example Food and Beverage/Hospitality Industry Objectives

I would like to work as (position) at (company) in order to broaden my experience in the food and beverage service department with a challenging assignment, which would enable me to exercise my communication, organizational, and administrative skills in an effective manner.

I am seeking an opportunity as (position) to show my abilities for achieving absolute satisfaction from guests and contributing to the growth of the company. I have relevant experience in the hospitality industry, as well as customer-related service, from my past roles serving food and beverages and streamlining service procedure.

To pursue a challenging and rewarding career in the hotel industry as a(position), where I can demonstrate my mastery of developing exquisite cuisine and beverages, all with an eye on costs. In addition, my ability to motivate guests to return for the culinary experience will be an asset to (company).

Talk about your experience.  Really talk!

Once you have your Objective (see Objective on(of) your resume ) in place, you should start to look at the most important part of your resume.

This is the main course or the meat of it.

Think about it this way, if you could only talk about one thing on your resume what would it be? 
Exactly.  It is also the one thing recruiters go to first.

If you have any work experience, then you must talk about your work experience.
I dont mean mention it on your resume, but really talk about it.

Most resumes have something like this:

' May 2006 - April 2007 Customer Services Agent XYZ Co'
' April 05 - May 07 Guest Service Associate ABC Hotel'

This tells the recruiter nothing!

Here's what you need to do:

Write at least one / two line descriptor.

What should the descriptor have?
Any or ALL of the following:

> What did you do in that job position
> Your main responsibilities
> Your level of interaction with customers
> How many people did you manage
> Did you conduct any training
> Were you responsible for a new product / service launch
> Any achievements in that position

Lets take some examples

>' May 2006 - April 2007 Customer Services Agent XYZ Co'
Responsible for all in-person queries and requests. Key tasks included, Initiating customer dockets, Actioning service requests, communication with customers and creating MIS.

> ' April 05 - May 07 Guest Service Associate ABC Hotel'
Part of the launch team for At-Your-Service concept - A one touch service provider mechanism. Responsible for all guest requests and In-room tasks, from Check In, to Dining, to House Keeping services, Billing and Check out.
Was awarded the Merit of Honor for outstanding service and nominated mentor to two new recruits.

In the age of sending resumes by email, the covering letter needs to do some things and avoid some things. 

Things your covering letter/note should do: 

>Quick snapshot

Who are you, what are you applying for and why are you interesting. 

>Grab Attention

That’s right. 
see How much time does a recruiter spend on your resume? 

>Make it easier for the recruiter

Things your covering letter/note should avoid: 

>Look like a normal printed/physical covering letter

>Confuse the recruiter

>Visually unappealing. 

Want an awesome e-cover letter? 

Do the following: 

> Make sure the subject of the email is packed with critical information

‘Applying for Executive Chef/12.00 yrs. exp/Diploma/(Hotel Management)/Bangalore/Working as Master Chef with XYZ

Immediately, in the subject itself the recruiter can get a very good snapshot of your basic credentials. 

>Use proper grammar for the note

Do not say ‘Hi’. Its easy to become informal in emails. 
This is business, very serious business, avoid familiarity. 
‘Greetings’ is a better way to open/start the note. 

>Mark the email to the concerned person as far as possible. 

If a generic email id is the only one mentioned, address it ‘Dear Sir or Madam:’ 

> Mention the Job Code as you see in the advertisement

If you are applying for something not advertised for, then mention that very clearly. e.g. ‘This is in response to your advert in TOI, dt 12/Dec’ or ‘I understand you are not currently recruiting. I am looking for an opportunity as ……..’ 

> Forget Attachments
Forget attachments. Put your resume in the mail. It is cumbersome to open attachments. Its also quicker.

Do not write the word ‘Resume’ on top, or anything else that means just about the same thing. Bio-Data/ curriculum vitae etc.

Do Not have any grammatical or spelling errors on your resume.

> Do not use words you do not understand
I am shocked at some candidates, when I ask them what they mean by words like ‘transformational’ or ‘paradigm changing’ etc and they have a blank look. Suddenly the resume becomes 'blank' too.

> Do not create an epic from your resume
A page is ideal. Two if you have loads of exp. No other excuse for verbosity.

 > Do not MASS MAIL
I am making this bold to highlight this menace.
I understand emailing makes it easy to send your resume to multiple people all at once, but really the only thing you are doing is demonstrating how lazy you are.
Personalize your emails. Specify your interest, job details etc.
DO NOT, DO NOT mass mail.

> Do not Lie, or even Fib
Tempting as it is, it will be caught.
I once interviewed an candidate who could tell me nothing about the company he worked for or the place. why? Coz I worked there too!
He was obliviously lying coz he had no clue.
Resume integrity is paramount.

> Do not save money by printing cheap
let the quality of the paper used and the quality of the printing show/demonstrate your value and your ability to do things well.

> Do Not use multi-colored fonts

> Do Not use Heavy picture files
If your resume is loaded with pictures or heavy files, it make take too long to download or worse, get rejected by the server.

> Irrelevant pictures/formatting. It should all make sense! No sense in nonsense…you see, that sentence itself was stupid.  Do Not have that on your resume