Quality of hire is often the number one measure of success when utilising the services of an executive search and recruitment consultancy. It is not simply about filling a position but rather finding talent that will bring the necessary skills and expertise required for the role while also adding value in terms of contributing to an organisation’s long-term success. For senior roles, this is a process that cannot be fast tracked, it requires concerted time and effort to identify the ideal candidate. And for a professional recruiter, one the most time-consuming parts of the recruitment process is resume screening.

In a nutshell, resume screening is an early first step in a recruitment process where an initial determination is made about an applicant in terms of their qualification for a role based on their education, experience and relevant information included on their CV. As a candidate, here are some things to consider.

Is the role for you?

Depending on the nature of a role, a recruiter can spend on average 23 hours screening resumes for a single role. The reality is that around 60% to 80% of applicants will be unqualified. If you are in the market for a new role our advice is not to use a recruitment process as an opportunity to introduce yourself to a recruitment consultant. If you are unsure about what the next move is in your career, and for a lot of people there is some uncertainty, then seek out the professional advice of a recruiter and organise a meet and greet outside of a recruitment process.

Does your CV really matter?

To help streamline the screening process, recruiters will likely be using intelligent screening software that enhances the functionality of their applicant tracking system however these tools are mostly based on keyword searches or resume parsing and are not highly effective at identifying quality of talent. While a well-constructed CV is vital, from a recruiter’s perspective you also don’t want to miss out on a quality candidate simply because of an average CV. If you are not confident in the presentation of your CV there are plenty of options available to you in terms of advice and support to construct your professional profile.

Candidates who are willing to take on this type of role also have a different mindset and are not looking at the opportunity as career building within your organisation, instead they are focussed on outcomes. That is not to say that this person will lack empathy and leadership skills bit rather the best candidates for an Interim Manager role are likely to be highly engaging and capable of quickly establishing rapport and building trust with colleagues and the wider team.

Your online and offline profile

As a recruiter narrows down an initial screen of applicant’s CVs, they will likely be utilising a number of sources to obtain a more detailed view of a candidate including for example LinkedIn. Perhaps your CV has an unexplained career gap, or you unintentionally excluded some relevant information like qualifications or professional development. Any discrepancies between a candidate’s paper CV and their online profile can be a red flag for a recruiter. While some may be honest mistakes it is important that you make sure your online and offline profile is accurate and consistent before submitting an application.

Promote yourself

You may not be comfortable talking about your accomplishments, but the rules are different when you are applying for a role and it requires a little bit of self-promotion. Really think about your recent accomplishments and their relevance to the role you are applying for. Also be open and honest about your background and experience. When listing your career summary in your paper CV, don’t omit missing or inconsistent dates of employment. If you have had a career break simply list it as such. If you feel that your background does not necessarily make you an obvious choice for a role then explain why you think you are.

Reach out

Professional recruiters are consistently compiling robust talent pipelines. It is one of the reasons that companies utilise the skills of external consultancies, due to their networks and ability to source talent. Conversely, executive recruitment consultancies have access to top roles with leading companies. They have market intel and industry knowledge that may be invaluable in your search for your next senior leadership role. It makes sense to develop a relationship with recruiters and not just when you need them.

Need help?

If you are looking for direction and assistance with creating your personal brand to tap into exciting opportunities, get in touch with us. We’d love to chat.

The Decipher Team

To stay on top of current recruitment trends and technologies follow Decipher Group on LinkedIn.

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