Guest post by Chick Simonds, recruiter and outplacement consultant with Simonds & Associates

Throughout my recruiting career, I have been observing and experiencing a paradigm shift in the way that most recruiters and job-seeking candidates find each other. Thanks to voicemail, electronic switchboards, virtual offices, etc., it has become increasingly challenging to speak directly with people. Thus, the Internet has evolved into the most effective and widely-used communication tool for recruiters and candidates alike.

Recruiters typically find candidates online by posting their assignments on job boards to attract candidates, and searching directly for qualified candidates using common or complex search engines, depending on the type of candidate sought. To improve your chances of connecting with a recruiter, follow these guidelines before posting your resume:

1) Tailor your resume to match the skill sets and qualifications stated by the job posting. Be sure to include the appropriate keywords, phrases and other words that will attract the employer and the recruiter. For example, if you’re an executive assistant and the job posting asks for MS Office skills, then MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., should be listed on your resume.

2) Don’t use overly descriptive or elaborate language in your resume – and don’t attempt to inflate your job description. There’s no shame in being a sales associate, administrative assistant, product manager, mechanical engineer, or software support technician.

3) Be sure your contact information is up-to-date and accurate. Nothing irritates a recruiter more than finding a qualified candidate with a disconnected phone number, an email address that bounces back, or a phone that just rings with no voicemail or answering machine, or a voicemail box that is full or not functioning.

4) Update all of your job board postings (and contact information) on a monthly basis. On many sites, this is a free and easy way to maintain top positioning.

5) Keep in mind that recruiters want achievers and employers want contributors. We don’t need to see your job description; we need to see how well you did your job! For example, if you’re in sales, we’re interested in your sales performance, not merely what you sold and to whom.

6) Create a complete profile on LinkedIn. Recruiters actively use this site to search for qualified candidates. The more complete your profile, the more attractive it will be to recruiters.

So, what should you do when a recruiter contacts you? First, do not feel obligated to submit a formal resume immediately. Second, be absolutely certain you are comfortable with the recruiter, and you understand the assignment being discussed. Most importantly, make it abundantly clear that you are allowing the recruiter to share your credentials for the specific assignment only – not for the recruiter to blast your resume throughout the country.

Third, never lie about whether or not you have a college degree. A recent candidate of mine learned this lesson the hard way. Background checks are the norm, and degrees are among the easiest items to validate. It cost this young man a terrific job: the irony is that the degree was not required, but truthfulness always is!

Despite the high traffic of job boards, employers are continually investing thousands of dollars in manpower and technology to more accurately monitor responses to job postings and accelerate their search for qualified candidates. As the economy continues to spring back, so will employers and recruiters’ search for candidates online…so be ready!


About the author: Charles “Chick” Simonds is a recruiter and outplacement consultant with Simonds & Associates. He specializes in assignments for sales and marketing professionals. Prior to recruiting, he enjoyed a successful career in senior sales management for several divisions of Bell & Howell. Formerly a resident of Illinois, he now lives and works in Hilton Head, SC. He can be contacted via LinkedIn.

(c) 2013 Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach. All Rights Reserved