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Insider Secrets: How Do Large Organizations Screen Résumés?


Here’s one recruiter’s insight of how she manages candidates. She has worked at two very large organizations--a global business services company with 125,000 employees in 23 countries and a national healthcare company with 180,000 employees across 8 states.

Secret #1 - Internal Referrals

A résumé that is sent from a fellow colleague is reviewed immediately. Résumés that are sent from someone in leadership will be called immediately--whether or not they meet the minimum qualifications of the role. Out of courtesy to the colleague and leader, these candidates are managed as VIPs.

Tip - A third of your job search should be dedicated to networking with people at the targeted company. Networking takes time; however, provides the highest yield.

Secret #2 - Recruiter’s Own Search

Candidates found from the Recruiter’s own search efforts are highly prized by the Recruiter. These passive candidates are considered top hidden talent and a feather in the cap for the Recruiter.

Tip - Revise your LinkedIn profile so that you have the right keywords to be found by recruiters.

Secret #3 - Company Website

Per this Recruiter, about a third of all positions are filled through the company website.

Tip - Spend only a third of your time applying for positions online. As mentioned above, a third should be spent on networking.

Secret #4 - Company Website, continued

The Recruiter adds questions through the applicant tracking system of which the applicant is asked to answer. When a candidate applies and answers the questions, she can see how many of her minimum qualifications are met. For example, here are the questions for a posting:

  1. Do you have a Bachelor degree in IT or similar? - Yes - No

  2. How many years of experience do you have in SAS programming? - 0 to 3 years - 4 to 7 years -7+ years

  3. Do you have a SAS certification? -Yes -No

The Recruiter can see at a glance whether the candidate meets the minimum qualifications--without looking at the résumé.

Tip - Recruiters hardly ever use keyword match options on the applicant tracking system because of too many false positive and missing candidates--do not worry whether you have the right keywords in your résumé. Instead, answer questions asked during the online application process, especially if you meet all of the minimum qualifications.

Secret #5 - Other Trusted Sources

Recruiters that receive résumés from external recruiters are also highly prized almost at the level of someone within the company sending the résumé.

Tip - Spend a portion of your time networking with headhunters, temporary agencies, and other external recruiters.

To summarize, network within the company are you are targeting, revise your LinkedIn profile so you are easily found, don’t worry about keyword use in your résumé, and answer all questions asked during the application process. And although she works at very large organizations, she says that when she worked at a smaller company she followed the same practices.

#Recruitertips #resumesecrets

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