Get your resume noticed by an agency recruiter

An agency recruiter’s job is to examine the resumes they receive, determine which ones most closely match the requirements of the job their client is filling, screen candidates over the phone and then interview in person. On average, recruiters can receive 100 resumes per position available. If the recruiter is working on 10 different positions, they may look at 1000 resumes!

Not only is this a lot of work, but recruiters are often under time constraints as their clients usually need to fill their positions as quickly as possible. Follow these do’s and don’ts of getting your resume noticed by a recruiter.


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  • an effective subject line
  • provide a concise cover letter
  • use a common document format
  • list your accomplishments and duties
  • include your Linkedin profile

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  • forget to attach your resume
  • forget to include important details
  • include outdated contact information
  • leave off dates of employment
  • use small font or be concerned about length

[publishpress_authors_data]'s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do an effective subject line

Often subject lines for emails that recruiters receive don’t include the person’s name or the position for which they are applying. A lot of the time recruiters are moving quickly, so they are more likely to open an email with a subject line specific to the position for which they’re recruiting. When emailing your resume to a recruiter your subject line should follow this format: “Name-Position for which you are applying.”

Do provide a concise cover letter

Recruiters don’t have time to read a three page cover letter. Cover letters should accomplish three things:

  1. a brief self-introduction
  2. a brief description of your career objective
  3. a brief explanation of why you’re a fit for the position for which you’re applying.

The cover letter should be no longer than one page. It’s okay for your cover letter to be in the body of an email.

Do use a common document format

Let’s face it, most companies run MS Office and Adobe Reader on their computer systems. Use formats that are compatible with those programs (e.g. .doc, .rtf, .pdf, etc.). Your resume is more likely to be opened the first time a recruiter sees it instead of when the recruiter gets around to e-mailing you to ask for another format.

Do list your accomplishments and duties

Recruiters want to know what you did for each position specifically. While a general list of accomplishments at the top of your resume is great, they still want to know where, when and for how long you had that experience.

Do include your Linkedin profile

Recruiters are seeing more and more LinkedIn profile URL’s in resumes. LinkedIn allows them to see any recommendations you may have. Facebook can be a good option if your personal Facebook page has a professional feel.

[publishpress_authors_data]'s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not forget to attach your resume

Don’t make recruiters call you or e-mail you back to let you know that you forgot the attachment. It’s an extra step and you are sure to be considered last. Besides, it makes for a poor first impression.

Do not forget to include important details

For each position, list important details such as the software you used, the machines you worked on, the types of products you sold, manufactured, designed, or engineered, how many people you supervised, etc. Many times recruiters are searching for a very specific person with a very specific skill set. They might just be searching for someone that has experience working with the exact software, machines, and products you have! Make it easy for them to find you by including this information in your resume.

Do not include outdated contact information

This actually happens fairly often, most commonly on resumes submitted from job boards like Career Builder or Monster. Many times when candidates change their email or phone number, they forget to update their job board profiles. Make sure that you can be found.

Do not leave off dates of employment

Remember to include your dates of employment for each position on your resume. Excluding your dates of employment makes it more difficult to determine the extent of your experience, knowledge, skills and abilities.

Do not use small font or be concerned about length

Recruiters would rather see a two page resume than a resume in 8.5 font with super wide margins, all in an effort to contain it to one page. Make sure that your resume is at least a 10 pt. font that doesn’t need to be enlarged for reading purposes. If your years of experience lend themselves to a two or three page resume, then by all means take that space to include all your information. Anything beyond four pages is a bit much, even for an executive resume.


Remember, recruiters are looking for the best fit for the positions they have available and they are trying to do it quickly. Make your resume as accessible as possible and include all the necessary information they need to review your qualifications and increase your chances of being noticed and contacted.

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