Articles From the Team

CV Tips for Recruiters

My working day often begins by looking through that morning’s CVs from alerts on job boards. I hope against hope that today, there will be that special candidate who graduated two or three years ago, has a solid couple of years under his or her belt with one of the big international recruiters and now wants something more intimate, but still professional. Most days, however I am met by CVs of people looking to move on within a year of starting their current job in recruitment. That’s life, and that’s not my gripe.

My gripe is just how badly thought out and presented these CVs invariably are. A recruiter should know better.

So here are a few quick tips:

1. If you are posting your CV online, have an opening statement which explains the type of role you are looking for. It is fair to assume, I think, that if you are currently a recruitment consultant then you are looking to continue as a recruitment consultant unless you state otherwise.

2. Now, assuming you are looking to continue in recruitment, please tell me what you have achieved, not just what you do. 95% of the recruiter’s CVs I see online simply cut and paste their job descriptions. So I get a list of bullet points telling me that they screen CVs, that they post ads online, that they arrange interviews, that they negotiate salaries, etc., etc.

ANYONE LOOKING TO HIRE A RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT (THE JOB I ASSUME YOU WANT TO DO AS YOU HAVE NOT STATED OTHERWISE) KNOWS WHAT A RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT DOES – YOU DON’T NEED TO STATE THE BLEEDING OBVIOUS!!!!

3. So, what do I want to know? - I want to know what your market is – what positions you recruit for, in what industries, at what levels across which geographies? - I want to know about the state of your “desk” when you started and what you have done to improve/maintain/grow it. - I want to know some of the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. - What’s the balance between new and repeat business? - What methods of recruitment do you use? - How much of your work is retained? - Client wins you have had. - Awards and achievements. - And of course, I want to know how many placements you have made and how much you have billed.

4. What if you have not achieved as much as you would have liked but it’s not your fault? OK, a CV is not the place for a sob story, but tells me that it was new desk and you are new to recruitment; tell me that you received scant training or that the database was non existent. If you have not billed much, tell me about what you’ve done about it – tell me about the effort you have put in to try and rectify it – call activity, meetings won, candidate development, initiatives launched.

5. If you merely list your responsibilities, bear in mind we seasoned recruiters can be thick skinned cynics, and we will probably assume the worst – that you’re not very good at recruitment. In which case, go back to point one and explain that you are looking for a role outside of recruitment.

Look, people make mistakes, you can make a bad move – it’s OK. I am always happy to talk to recruiters who are sincere about a career in our industry and who might want to set their career back on track after a poor move.

If that’s you, please send your CV to me at robbarklamb@bcllegal.com , but if you do please don’t just regurgitate your job description.

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