10 Mistakes to Avoid Before Sending Your Resume to A Recruiter

Let’s get something straight right from the beginning. Recruiters are working for their clients and not you. As a recruiter, I couldn’t care less about you, unless you’re going to help me by providing work in the future, or you’re a candidate that I can make money with. As a recruiter, it’s my job to find talent for my clients. It’s not my job to provide you with advice, introduce you randomly to my clients or help you with your job search.

That said, recruiters do have their use for your job search, and it’s vital that you understand CV and Resume mistakes that can cause you problems before you send your CV to a recruiter. 

Recruitment Agencies

Looking at my Job Search Strategy review, recruitment companies only represent 3% of all hires made, however, the job market across the world is enormous, and this still represents a large number. All this means that while recruitment agencies should not be your number one focus in your job search.

It is vital that you get yourself known to a few select recruiters that are specialist within your specific field. Before you send your CV or Resume to a recruiter, remember they will require a slightly different style of CV than you would usually send to a job application. Writing your resume remains no different to my how to write your CV review. The difference between sending your resume to a company for a job application and sending your resume to a recruiter comes down to formatting and helping the recruiter help you. 

Below are ten resume mistake that candidates regularly fall foul of, that annoy the recruiter. If you want your recruiter to work with you, don’t make these easy to avoid resume mistakes.

Resume Mistakes

  • Cover Letters – Make sure you send a cover letter with your resume outlining your experience and relevance to your specific role. Most likely a recruiter will not read it, however often when a recruiter sends a resume to their client, they will write a short description of you in their email. Writing this take time especially if you have to do it for 4-6 candidates, but if you have already put this in your Cover Letter, you can help save the recruiter some time. Help the recruiter, and they will help you. 
  • Word Document – Recruiters often receive resume’s in a range of different formats, however, you need to understand that a recruiter will need to “cut and paste” your resume onto their resume template before sending it to their client. This is done to make sure the client contacts the recruiter to interview the candidate, rather than skipping the recruiter and dealing with candidate directly. A “cut and paste” from a word document takes a few seconds, however, if your resume is in PDF, this could take a while as the format will completely change. 
  • Watch Your Formatting – Firstly, don’t include fancy pictures in your resume as they’re very difficult to “cut and paste.” Excel Spread-Sheets or Aligned Box’s are also a total nightmare to “cut and Past.” If your resume is exceptionally long, this could take as much as 30 minutes to complete and be a complete waste of my time. 
  • Wrong Mobile Number – If you’re looking for a job, it’s a great idea to put your mobile number on your resume so that your recruiter can always speak with you directly. Firstly, make sure it’s correct. Over the last ten years, I must have deleted hundreds of resumes simply because their mobile number was a digit short and did not work. I would highly recommend that you put an answerphone on your mobile. An answer phone on your mobile allows the recruiter to leave a message letting you call back and speak directly to the recruiter. 
  • Professional Email Address – Make sure you have a professional email address. Ilovevodka@ or Ilikesex@ will not make you look professional. In an ideal world, you need to get yourself your own domain email address. Not only does this show that you’re a professional person but it also shows that you can adapt to the latest technology. 
  • Poor Spelling and Grammar – Check your spelling and grammar. Writing your resume is a complicated process, but you have time to check and re-check your resume to make sure there are no mistakes. 
  • Your Recruiter Has a Name – and likes it to be used. The average recruiter will receive hundred’s of resumes each week from a wide selection of relevant and non-relevant candidates. Personally, if I receive a resume that starts off with “Dear Sir” I delete it almost immediately as I know that I am merely part of a mass chain of email’s that the candidate is sending out. 
  • Include Your Salary Expectations Applying to a job online. I would highly recommend that you don’t include your current salary or salary expectations. This changes when you send your resume to a recruiter. It just saves time and allows the recruiter to understand whether you could be a good fit for their role. 
  • Explain Why Your Applying In A Different City – There is nothing wrong with applying to jobs in different cities/countries, however, do make a point to explain why you’re looking in that country or city. Realistically a company is not going to hire you because you have applied for their job. Think about the complexity of relocation, moving costs and maybe even visa cost’s – why would a company pay for all this for you without an explanation to why you’re looking in that region. 
  • Include Your References – It’s a great idea to include your references in your resume when you send it to a recruiter as they’re likely to check you out as much as they can before sending your resume off to one of their clients. Recruiters work on reputation, and the last thing they want is to throw away their reputation because they have not checked out a candidate. 

Follow Up

Getting the best out of a recruiter is not difficult, however, it’s vital that you make their life easy. A recruiters life is always tricky as they are trying to maintain professionalism with clients, candidates who think they’re essential and their own needs. Over the years I have developed firm friendships with both old clients and candidates, however, those friendships were built on mutual respect for each other’s needs. Remember this when you send your resume to a recruiter and don’t get a response.

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Nick Jones

My name Nick Jones, I am a professional Head-Hunter with over 20 years of experience working all over the world. I specialise in out-of-the-box job search strategies to get your CV directly to the hiring manager, thus skipping any ATS portals or recruiters who think they're important.

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