The Recruiter's Soapbox


Recruiters and their own resumes: Practice what you preach

One of the things that surprised me when I moved into the rec2rec industry was to learn that Recruiters, who see resumes all day long and advise their candidates on them, are actually dreadful at writing their own!  80% of recruiters just don’t seem to know where to start. It seems that we are great at selling other people on paper but when it comes to ourselves we haven’t got a clue.

Pre 2008, if you had any recruitment experience and a pulse, lets face it, you were going to get a job.  Now in today’s competitive market, there are definitely opportunities out there but it is only the best Consultants who are being considered.  If you want to be viewed in this elite group, you may want to consider an overhaul of your cv.

Here our top 4 tips around the common mistakes that Recruiters make when it comes to putting their own resume together:

1. Do not write a ‘generic’ one size fits all resume. In other words, do not write a bland document covering your ‘day to day duties and responsibilities’ when really, we already know that ‘interviewing candidates’ and ‘filling job orders’ is part of your role. Don’t fill your resume with blatantly ‘obvious’ information – yes, briefly list your ‘key responsibilities’ but stick to elaborating on the information that really counts…..

Our advice:  Spend more time telling us about your achievements, and be specific:  We want to see your results, your sales figures, the incentives you have earned. We want to see exact figures here.

  • Do you run a temp, perm or dual desk?
  • What types of roles do you recruit for?
  • What type of clients do you recruit for?
  • Do you work to a contingent, exclusive or retained model or all three?
  • What is your average invoice value/margin.
  • Give examples of roles that you have recruited for.
  • Did you inherit a cold or warm desk?

This is what our clients are interested in. Get specific and be prepared to back up anything that you claim.


2.  Make sure your resume is up to date. Often recruiters will say “I thought I would explain my most recent experience at interview.”  But who says in this market that you are going to secure an interview with a shoddy resume?   We are often told “my cv is not very good, I haven’t done it in years, I was headhunted into my last role, can’t you just send my linked in profile?  Other recruiters did…”

Ah…. No.  Don’t be lazy!!  Your resume and the way you present it says a lot about you.

Our Advice:  List your experience to-date. Remember that your application is highly confidential and will be treated as such. If perhaps you have concerns about your recent experience being rather ‘brief’ in tenure, remember that your cover letter is there to be used as your ‘communication tool’ to elaborate on your current circumstances if you feel that an explanation may be warranted.  Keep your resume fresh, accurate, up-to-date, in chronological order beginning with your most recent experience.


3.    Looking for your first step on the recruitment ladder?  For all want to be Trainee Recruiters – Ensure you add any recruitment or sales relevant courses that you may have attended.  Ensure you include education and anything that relates to sales experience (especially B2B sales) as this is what our clients are looking for.


4.  Finally, it should go without saying that a resume should be submitted only if it is free of formatting, spelling or grammatical errors. PROOF READ!  Don’t bother with fancy boxes that take forever to format.


If you want to be perceived as a recruitment ‘professional’ – put simply, you need to present yourself as one.  Don’t be scared to promote your achievements and let us take it from there.

 Remember you need to practice what you preach to your own candidates!