Do recruiters read your resume thoroughly? They don’t. So, don’t bother writing countless pages on your Curriculum Vitae. Here’s what really matters for them.
According to Ambra Benjamin, an engineering recruiter, recruiters rarely pay attention to:
There have been times in Benjamin’s career where she could go a month reviewing hundreds of resumes and not recall looking at that section even once. If you are not a new graduate, experience is king
There are a few exceptions where perhaps a hiring manager wanted a certain pedigree (Wharton or HBS MBA, for example), but even that’s being de-prioritised more and more. It will also changes drastically by industry and company.
No amount of fancy formatting is going to make up for a lack of experience. Also, it is important to keep in mind that if you are applying to a position online, whether it is a PDF or not, many companies’ applicant tracking systems parse your resume for information and convert it to pure text as the most immediate viewing format. Recruiters don’t often see how awesome your resume is.
The original file is usually there for recruiters, but many of them aren’t clicking through. If you are going to do something fun with your resume, keep it as PDF format. Also, be sure it converts to text fairly cleanly so it doesn’t come through the system. Else, email it to an actual person.
Many employers are trying to avoid any type of discrimination, so often seeing that stuff on a resume can make recruiters feel uncomfortable. Recruiters just want to know about things that pertain to your work history. Maybe, take your photo off your resume.
There is a debate on this, but many recruiters don’t read cover letters. They want to see the resume. Luckily, a lot of candidates don’t even send them anymore.
Moreover, recruiters actually wish more job seekers do these following things on their resumes:
Recruiters are staring at these missives all day long. Throw a joke in there somewhere. They should lighten up a bit. However, you should know your industry first. Indeed, it is important to keep the work experience details as professional as possible, but there are ways to have fun with it.
If you are looking to stand out, write some stuff on the Internet. Contribute to open-source repositories. Demonstrate some level of domain expertise/interest outside of your 9-5.
“What kind of stuff are you working on in your free time?” Most recruiters always inspired by this. It shows that you have passion for your industry.