Resume Right: 5 Q’s With a Recruiter: Katie

Through your emails, clicks and comments (including those offline conversations), you’ve told me that the “Resume Right” tips are educational and helpful. So, lucky you, I am giving you a bonus with this new feature: “Resume Right: 5 Q’s With a Recruiter.” These tips come directly from professionals who are weeding through resumes on a daily basis.

The first recruiter to share her resume wisdom is Katie Peterson, a Senior Recruiter from an outdoor retailer based in Seattle.

How does a recruiter’s resume evaluation differ from a hiring manager’s evaluation?

Depending on how well the recruiter understands the position and the line of business – if a recruiter is fairly savvy to the business, the technology, the needs of the hiring manager, the two evaluations could be on par. A recruiter can bring valuable insight and perspective on things like career progression, dates of employment, common themes, and comparative industry information.  

What is the most common resume mistake you see?

Here’s two — busyness and redundancy.

  • Keep your resume clear and relevant to the position you are seeking. Recruiters lose sight of your skills, and experience when we are battling through wild formatting, jargon, and information that is not relevant to the position or company.
  • If you have had similar positions throughout your career – use that space to tell me something new, please don’t cut and paste your job experience from one job to the next.

One piece of resume advice you wish job seekers would follow?

Target your career search. Take the time to customize your resume to the job — for each job you submit an application for. Yes, it takes more time, but job seeking is hard work, and a targeted approach will pay off!

Your take on this debate: should a resume ever be longer than one page?

It depends—if your career has relevant experience that can support two pages, don’t let the one page rule hold you back. I would refrain from going back longer than 10 years in your career, unless you have specific experience that directly applies to the job you are applying for.

Does anyone read cover letters any more?

Yes, I do! I know several hiring managers who are shocked when candidates don’t take the time to express their interest via cover letter. However, I know many people do not bother to read them. As best practice, I would recommend to always submit a cover letter just in case – short and brief or longer and more thorough, as you never know your audience.

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