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Give Recruiters What They Want… But Maybe Not Right Away

Resume-writing colleague Arnie Bolt shared findings from a recent ExecuNet meeting he hosted, in which a panel of executive recruiters was asked how they work, how they evaluate candidates, and what they look for in resumes and other communications. Universally, the recruiters wanted to see an entire work history on the resume, even if it went back to the year “dot” and included irrelevant information.

My advice: Give them what they want – but not right away! Use your strategic, well written, concise, and on-target resume to spark that initial phone call. Then, if you are a strong candidate for one of their searches, go right ahead and give them chapter and verse on everything you’ve done. At that point, you’ve cleared the initial screening and won’t advance any farther unless you comply. But don’t shoot yourself in the foot by giving them what they think they want in your initial contact.

Let’s face it – you can’t possibly include everything you’ve done in your career on your resume. Go with the most high-impact, relevant, and meaningful information to incite interest. The resume is, after all, a marketing document. You can provide the entire prospectus once your audience is interested.

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