Workwrite Resumes

Interesting facts about recruiting

Diane Hudson BurnsResume Writer, Career Coach, Trainer, and Author Diane Hudson (Burns) has generously agreed to share her wisdom on recruiting. Diane was my very first resume writing and career coaching mentor when I received my certification, so I can assure you, you’re learning from an amazing source.  As a former internal recruiter (corporate) and employment specialist for Northrop, Diane knows recruiting from the inside. As a resume writer and career coach, she knows it from the consulting side with her clients. Here is her latest information on the industry.

Guest Post by Diane Hudson (Burns), CPRW, CEIP, CPCC, CCMC
Reprinted with permission from the February 2014 issue

of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) Newsletter

I recently attended the Recruiting Trends Conference, gaining insider information about how recruiters and hiring managers source for talent. I am a champion for understanding both how candidates are sourced and selected – truly understanding the back-end of hiring and on-boarding (from my perspective); as well as understanding the latest trends in career coaching and resume writing, to help my clients build a portfolio of job search and career management tools that are effective.

For example, posting a resume on a job board and sitting back to wait for the phone to ring is not an effective job search technique, yet, that is exactly the tactic many job seekers take – because they believe without a doubt that they are the perfect candidate for the job for which they applied. The problem is, scores of other perfectly qualified candidates also applied for the same job.

You may remember me saying in past articles and at former PARW/CC conferences, that I draft and float my own resume every couple of years. I have been selected for interviews, and even negotiated salaries. I want to make certain the resumes I develop for my clients, and the career coaching that I offer, is effective.

Today, with LinkedIn being very intuitive and knowledgeable about my profile, skills, and previous employment, when I click on “Jobs,” LI even provides for me a nice list of jobs that I may be interested in pursuing, almost all in the careers industry, e.g., Career Director, Recruiter, Employment Specialist, and so forth; with a variety of companies and organizations. This channel is pretty easy – it is pre-made for me – and takes out a lot of the guesswork and research needed to look for open jobs.

As a former internal recruiter (corporate) and employment specialist for Northrop, I understand the intricacies of hiring and onboarding. I know how hard it is to identify the right person for a job order; and, that same someone needs to have the right personality that in some way compliments the hiring manager’s personality and work requirements. I know how hard it is to negotiate the salary between the candidate and the accounting office.

However, times change, hiring processes change, and recruiters are always looking for new ways to recruit and locate an ideal candidate for an open position.

Recruiting Facts, Tips, and Wisdom

I have compiled some the most interesting facts, tips, thoughts, and comments from recruiters-in-the-trenches, for and/or about job searches / job seekers. I soaked in the wisdom from a dozen presenters, and a couple hundred recruiters with whom I met and networked with during the three-day conference.

  • Job search is about branding, media (social and online media), and building relationships. This explains why social media platforms like LinkedIn and Face Book are so popular in today’s job search.
  • Candidates who weathered the recession are now focused on specific employers, and identifying their personal value proposition in correlation to the target companies.
  • Every applicant thinks they are perfect for the job for which they applied – they cannot understand why they did not get a call back. But, there are too many candidates, and not enough manpower to respond to every application.
  • Competition is very high in the job search.
  • Past recession candidates are ‘on their toes’, prepared with an updated resume. They research information about companies.
  • There are more resumes than open positions. Most resumes (and the associated experience/ skills) do not match the job requirements for posted positions/job requisitions. Resumes (and actual skill sets) need to be a good fit with target jobs. People who submit resumes that are not a good fit with a target job will not hear back from the company.
  • Recruiters are seeking for the ‘Purple Squirrel.’ As such, they rarely will send a candidate forward to a client company or hiring manager without the candidate’s skill sets being a near perfect fit.
  • Recruiters and hiring managers often stated that resumes are not well written – the resumes do not differentiate themselves from the crowd of resumes.
  • The resume itself has not changed much in decades; it is still a document that presents a candidate’s experience and credentials. How it is presented and stated, is what makes the difference for recruiters.
  • Recruiters and hiring managers would rather hire someone they know that knows someone they know, than a “cold hire”. Some companies have a motto that ‘every employee can be a recruiter’ – this is why networking, talking to people, and building relationships is so important in job search.
  • Keep social media sites ‘clean’ – do not post negative blogs or responses – and do not post drunken party pictures.
  • Recruiters do not like “spammed” resumes, i.e., resumes sent by a service that continually shows up in their inbox. These resumes get deleted.
  • Recruiters quickly spot when a cover letter is not individually addressed – and rather has the name of another company that was being targeted.
  • Some recruiters and companies pull information from LI profiles instead of requesting a resume.
  • Job seekers should look for jobs with companies that match their career goals. Ask yourself: “What matters most to me?” From the reply, you will then know which type(s) of companies to target.
  1. Do you seek to work for a company that is respectful to its employees?
  2. Do you want secure employment?
  3. Do you want a creative work environment?
  4. Do you want a friendly work environment?
  5. Do you prefer structure and a hierarchical management?
  6. Do you want to take your pet to work?
  7. Do you need to work for a company with childcare on-site?
  8. Do you want to work for leadership who supports your professional development?
  9. Do you want high future earnings?
  10. Do you seek a clear path for advancement?
  11. Do you appreciate flex-time or telecommuting?


  • 60% of recruiters have open positions they cannot fill with qualified candidates.
  • 77% of Americans are looking for a new job or at least open to new opportunities.
  • 40% of job seekers search for jobs at work (be careful).
  • The average job seeker uses 16 different sources of information to search for and apply for one job (job boards, company websites, Google searches, aggregators, job fairs, various social media platforms, etc.).
  • Most job seekers will change their resume 40 times applying for one type of job.
  • Most job seekers search for jobs on Mondays.
  • LinkedIn has 238 million members worldwide.
  • Including a picture on your LinkedIn profile makes members 40% more likely to respond to an InMail message.
  • There are five generations in the workforce today.
  • Mobile devices now outnumber PCs, and 70% of job seekers search for jobs on their mobile devices.*
  • 50% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials by 2018.*

2014 Job Search

The information from these recruiters in invaluable in preparing for a job search in 2014 and beyond. Understanding how recruiters and hiring managers think and operate, is a key to designing a purposeful, targeted, and focused job search and career management plan.

Job search is tough and is multi-faceted with online platforms, social medial, and combined with traditional job search techniques. Job search is a busy business. It takes many hours of concerted effort to effectively plan a job search and conduct a job search.

Overall, encourage job seekers to cast a wide net for job search; reach into their ‘Rolodex’; use the online platform / social media tool(s) that work best for their search (LI, Tumbler, Twitter, Face Book, Pinterest, Instagram, others); diversify by looking at a hard copy journal to search for job openings; or try a small ‘snail mail’ résumé circulation campaign.

Career seekers need to build a career search management plan for life, and add or delete/adjust the plan over time as the market and technology changes, and by paying close attention to what recruiters and hiring managers want and expect from a potential candidate.


* Source: Simply Hired


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