Hacks from a Recruiter on Resumes & Interviewing

Here are a few of my favourite hacks on everything from writing a resume that gets you calls to converting and interview in to a green light to the next steps. Getting the tips or hacks from the people that actually do the recruitment is going to mean more traction and better job offers.

I think candidates often dress and or behave differently with me as the Recruiter than with the client so here are some simple tips that I find are impressive and not so impressive when I meet someone. This should not be scary or daunting but rather an opportunity for you to showcase your skills and abilities and please believe I want you to do well otherwise I wouldn’t have invited you in to meet me in the first place. So be confident and enjoy the experience.

My Top 10 or so Interview Hacks for Candidates

Do your research and make sure that you know my name, the details of business including the address and how to get there.

  • Present yourself neatly and appropriately – be sure to check yourself before hand, I once interviewed a lady who had tucked her skirt into the back of her undies – not a good first impression.
  • As a general rule, take extra care with your appearance for a job interview. Grunge look maybe ok on the weekend but for me a clean, ironed shirt is a must!
  • Don’t smoke just before your interview as the smell is very strong and that will be off-putting.
  • Make sure you have clean trimmed fingernails and washed and…. yes brushed hair.
  • Arrive ten minutes early and if something happens and you are going to be late just call and advise and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
  • Arrive at the interview with a smile, and shake hands firmly for a few seconds whilst maintaining eye contact.
  • Maintain eye contact throughout the interview and ensure you are displaying positive body language by sitting up straight and actively listening. Yawning or looking at your watch is not a way to impress oh and PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE!
  • If water is offered take it as half way though you may find you nerves make you thirsty. Don’t accept a hot beverage and never a biscuit…once I had a fellow take a tea, ask for more milk and then for some reason there were biscuits as it was a panel interview (this was the old days) and he dunked his biscuit in my tea!!
  • Relate your skills to the role by being to the point and do not over answer or stray from the topic.
  • At the end of your interview, smile and say thank you for your time.

Hacks for preparing an effective resume

  • Prepare a career summary or career objective so the Recruiter can see your goals and a quick summary of your background.
  • Ensure it is divided into clear sections and the headings are in bold as follows:

Education & Qualifications – List most recent first and include the name of Institution, date of completion and name of qualification.

Employment History underneath this heading the following subheadings will be helpful for the recruiter to read.

Dates of employment – please state from and to dates and the months otherwise it may appear like you have only been there a few months i.e. if it appears as 2010 to 2011.

Name of Employer

Title

Key Responsibilities

  • List your current or most recent position first, this way I don’t have to scroll all the way down your resume to find out what you are up to at the moment.
  • Be sure to check your spelling, this shows your attention to detail and that you have taken care in preparing your application and most likely will when you are at work too.
  • Ensure the information is relevant to the Recruiter e.g. don’t go into lengthy detail about your work history if it is not relevant i.e. when you were a Cab Driver if the role is for a Chef.
  • NEVER make things up or exaggerate your skills e.g. if you are a Chef de Partie this is the role not Head Chef; if you are a Restaurant Supervisor then say so not Restaurant Manager or F&B Executive.
  • Try to limit resume to 4 pages – when describing skills or duties no need to go into lots of detail about cleaning just say something like “ensuring work area clean at all times”, your skills could say Knife skills, you might state the section/s you ran and how many people you were responsible for, what level you reported to and the team size.
  • If THE font is ALL different and the layout all over the place it makes it difficult to read so.. stick to the same font size and a simple, organised layout. It’s the old KISS (Keep it simple stupid that works for me).

I know you most of these things are obvious and you wouldn’t make the same blunders but thought I’d share some of my funny experiences with you.

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