Key Points to Learn from a Panel of Recruiters

Job Search Advice from RecruitersBy James Dittbrenner

Recently I participated in a quality panel with VSE Corporation’s top recruiters discussing the key features recruiters look for in qualified candidates to fit specific, immediate positions. Here are some of the key points that came out of this discussion with a group of both job seekers and operating managers:

1. Those resumes received via the employer’s website were screened by a computer prior to the recruiter reviewing the resume. Computers knock out those resumes that do not meet the minimum qualifications set for the position. This deletes the majority of submissions that come in via the Internet and email. Thus, generic and non-focused resumes are screened out.

2. Omissions that can cost the applicant include the failure to list a telephone number and/or email address.

3. No LinkedIn address on the resume slows the process and can set the resume at the bottom of the pile.

4. Lack of specificity results in being screened out. For example, as a Program Manager, what did you manage, and what are the results of your actions?

5. 94% of recruiters surveyed use LinkedIn as a primary source for candidates (Jobvite survey results – 2014; with Facebook at 66%, and Twitter at 52%).

6. Many firms have had to drop their sourcing function, so recruiters must do more of the basics as well. This limits the number of candidates investigated due to time constraints.

7. Resumes that show the applicant researched and addressed the requirements and responded quickly were filed in folders for quick referral when not seen as a leading candidate for current openings.

8. Recruiters often build and keep their own databases rather than referring back to corporate databases.

9. LinkedIn continues to be the leading resource for searching, contacting, keeping tabs on, and vetting candidates prior to interviewing. Also, LinkedIn is a top resource for posting jobs, both on the employer’s LinkedIn site and the recruiter personally posting a current search.

10. Effective recruiters use the maximum sources within their professional and social networks. LinkedIn offers up to 50 groupings that recruiters will troll.

11. Tenure and length of professional experience, then industry-related experience are keys for considering a candidate.

12. The search process for both the recruiter and the job seeker has tightened and become more professional, with greater use of the Internet in all aspects of the search.

One more piece of advice mentioned at the end of the discussion: Recruiters and other professionals strongly recommend using a professional email address for all job search correspondence. The email address should contain the individual’s name or an abbreviation thereof. Numerous email services offer multiple free accounts, such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail.

About the Author
James Dittbrenner is a recruiting expert, HR professional, and career and management consultant. He has been MOAA’s (Military Officer’s Association of America) Maryland Network Liaison since 2009. He is also a second generation Army mustang who believes strongly in service to his country and community. He currently works with transitioning military, distributing employment advice and opportunities to service members, veterans, and their families. To be included on his distribution list, email him at

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