The first thing a retainer recruiter looks for in your resume is your function, the level of seniority you have in your current position, and what industry you're working in.
Job tenures come next.
Accomplishments and functional skills will be ignored if you don't pass the first two tests listed above.
Being a retained search consultant, I have read a lot of
resumes. You’ll see a lot of advice out there on how to write
resume. Unfortunately, many of these recommendations are
doing you more
harm than good. Take a look at how a recruiter reads a resume
I read the
cover letter only after I see something in the
resume that makes me want to read the cover letter.
I almost never
read the summary, or any other functional skills
that the person puts early on in the resume. I
skip immediately to the
current/last job the person has had. If someone has been in
industries or functions, and these are not apparent when looking at
current job, it can sometimes be helpful to list them at the top of the
resume. I will still skip that section, but some people do
first, so your resume should have one, I guess. Keep it to a third of a
page, and no more.
look at each position, the first thing I look
at is the title and company. I want to
see a company description
(including products and industry as specifically as possible), company
what the person's responsibilities are. What
functions do they
manage? How many people do they manage? Who does he
or she report
to? Did the person have P & L
responsibility? How large is the
volume that the person manages? What customers does
the company sell
to? (This is particularly important if the person is in sales or
marketing). Customers should be listed in both general terms
Discount Stores, Warehouse Clubs and Drug Chains) and in specific terms
to Wal-Mart, Albertson's, Target, BJ's Wholesale Club and L L
What manufacturing processes do they use? What are the
of? The other stuff - the accomplishments listed - are not as
get me to give the person a call than the information that allows me to
whether the person appears to have the industry
fit, and that the
person's previous jobs make him or her big enough for the job I'm
working on. Don't
leave off your accomplishments - make them as specific as possible, in
but the first thing that will get my attention is whether you are at
level and have the right industry fit.
is playing musical chairs by leaving off the
early part of their career and hiding dates of graduation, I normally
resume away. I will only call if I am
desperate. I generally feel
that people who are leaving stuff off have something to hide, and I
don't want to take the time to figure out if they are or not.
functional skills are listed, they should be tied
to a specific position. That way, they are put into
of a resume is unimportant. Key is that
the reader wants to keep reading. Five pages is not too long
for a senior
executive, as long as you can make the resume readable, rather than
What's critical is that the first page is interesting enough
to get the
reader to want to read the second page. Most resumes are read
on a screen
these days, so the reader is unaware of how many pages long it
resumes start off with a series of self-descriptive
adjectives: highly professional, results-oriented, strategic
team player, etc., ad nauseum. Please, please, please, don't
in. I've heard all this before, and
I don't want to hear it again.
Of course, you are all these things, but anyone can say these
about themselves, so saying them adds nothing (the most dictatorial
often list themselves as team players, and many of them actually
they are). You need to prove that you have these attributes,
and in many
cases you can’t do so in a resume. However, some of these can
demonstrated in your resume, but they need to be demonstrated by
achievements that you will list with each job you’ve held.
(By the way, most employers tell me that they read a resume the same way I do).