Re: Recruiters: Is It Just Me?

Subject: Re: Recruiters: Is It Just Me?
From: Maurice King <benadam -at- CYBERDUDE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 09:11:20 -0500

I've found recruiters to be just like any other group of people trying to earn a living: some are reliable, some are not, some are intelligent, some are jerks, etc.

What I find much more difficult to comprehend, however, are the recruiters and/or HR staff who clearly do not read a candidate's résumé or do not know how to read at all. Not long ago, I applied for a position, only to get back a reply stating that the company in question was only considering candidates with strong background in online Help and HTML design -- both of which are my specialty! This person couldn't have read my résumé beyond my name and address or the information would have jumped off the page.

Lately I received a rejection via e-mail stating that I lacked a particular required skill that was not obvious on my résumé. It seems to me that if a recruiter has taken the time to write a personal reply, that recruiter could also ask about the skill in question, because sometimes things do not appear within the scope of a résumé. A good example is one job for which I was a candidate that required project management experience. The client in question informed me that because I had never worked with Microsoft Project, I would not be a viable candidate. I was quick to inform that I had worked with Microsoft Project; however, for me, it was just a tool that I used for internal reporting, not for getting the work done. To mention MS Project on my résumé would have been like mentioning a mouse pad on my résumé; sure, I used it, but it wasn't a critical part of my work.

On the subject of what sort of résumé to present I have heard many conflicting concepts, and on this I'd like to hear some comments from others. I've been told that a functional résumé almost always rubber-stamps a candidate as a contract employee and that chronological résumés are necessary for staff positions. I have both on hand and have taken to submitting both to recruiters, because no matter how much I revise my résumé, there's always something that isn't obvious that should be. Because much of my experience was outside the U.S., I have been told by many that I have to give complete details of everything I did, including tools I used, because U.S. companies are not likely to know what I did based upon the company names; however, others have told me that the resultant résumé is unacceptably long. It leaves me wondering if I shouldn't just create a video file to send instead; maybe that way I'd manage to give over everything that was expected of me.

It is always important to make a good first impression, but when a résumé generates a long procedure of revisions and changes, it is much harder to leave such an impression. How is it possible to resolve this problem?

- Maury

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