How to win over a recruiter is something every job seeker wants to do better. Absolutely Abby shares the secrets of what to do and what not to do in a session at Medaille College sponsored by The August Group.

During the session, Abby covers:

  • Your collateral
  • Job Hunting
  • Social Media
  • Phone Screens
  • Prepping and Primping
  • The Interview
  • Closing the Deal

In this post, I’ll share information on collaterals, job hunting and social media. In part 2, I will cover phone screens, prepping and primping, the interview and closing the deal.

Your Collateral – Resume Preparation

Absolutely Abby and Pete Chatfield

Your resume is your primary collateral. Your resume highlights your skills, abilities and results when working with previous employers.

One of the questions always asked is how many pages should your resume be? Abby asked the group and there was a split between one, two or three pages for a resume.

Her answer: it depends. Forget about focusing on the number of pages, instead pay attention to the following:

  • Use bullets not paragraphs
  • The layout has to be legible
  • Use white space – don’t make it look crowded
  • Use a consistent font – size and style
  • Bold and italics are acceptable to emphasize
  • No grammar or spelling mistakes
  • Alignment and proper use of tabs

Why are all these things important?

Let’s say one of your skills is that you are detailed orientated. Your resume hits the recruiter’s desk and while reviewing your resume, there are several spelling errors.

What impression have you left with the recruiter? Do you think they believe you are in fact detailed orientated?

Your resume should reflect you – be honest. Don’t dummy down your resume and don’t lie about job titles. After the interview process, there will be a background check.

If you lie or misrepresent yourself, your future employer will rescind your offer. Most companies have integrity as one of their core values and you just violated it.

Job Hunting & Social Media Tips

One way to get your resume noticed is to use key words. If you don’t know the ins and outs of using key words – refer to: Job Hunting Tips Using Social Media.

Differentiate yourself from others by including leadership, volunteer and award information after college. Keep these highlights separate from your work experience unless it was directly tied to your results such as a sales award.

List computer skills and languages. Use both the abbreviated version and write out the words. You don’t know what key words recruiters or companies are searching on to find their candidates.

Are you using the white letter technique on your resume? Ditch it according to Absolutely Abby. The white letter technique is when you put in key words in white font so that they don’t show up on the page. The problem with this strategy is that some applicant systems show those words, creating an ugly resume.

Use “I” in your resume. Companies look for what YOU can do vs. what the team did.

Cover Letters

Recruiters and hiring managers love it when you send a cover letter. Abby says you will definitely stand out because most people do not include a cover letter with their resume.

Personalize your cover letter. Tell the recruiter or company why you are the best candidate for the job without giving any false promises. Never state the salary you are looking for – simply say that salary is negotiable. If you must provide the salary you want, indicate a broad range, such as:

My expected salary for the Buyer position is between $50,000-$70,000.

Pay attention to grammar and punctuation. If in doubt, have someone professionally edit it such as Ruth Thaler-Carter.

Job Applications

The application you submit to a company is a legal document. You are asked to sign it verifying that the information is correct.

Sections on the application that do not require completion may be skipped.

Provide accurate salary information. If your annual salary included a bonus, do not include it. Bonuses are separate – even for sales people. Remember – salaries can be verified – this is not the time to overinflate your worth.

Include contact information for each company that you worked for. If the company went out of business – include your old boss’s phone number. Use LinkedIn to find old bosses and colleagues.

List all positions you held during your career even if you were with one company. The positions tell a story – you were promoted, moved or learned new skills.

Next week, look for Winning Over a Recruiter with Absolutely Abby: Part 2.