How Do Recruiters Read An Executive Resume?
Wouldn’t you like to know how recruiters read your resume? If you did know, you could leverage that knowledge to incorporate the right strategies into your resume, right?

Believe it or not, recruiters are trained how to grab the most information in the least amount of time. By last count, they have shaved the time down from 10 seconds to 6 seconds, so you know your resume needs to be sharp to capture their interest. Jennifer McClure, president of Unbridled Talent, an HR and recruiting consulting firm, offers these tips to other recruiters on how to get the most out of reading a resume:

1. Start with the targeted profile. It should be a well-written statement that delivers a strong message of who the executive is, his or her strengths, and a thumbnail statement that supports the results. A generic or poorly written statement heads the resume to the “no” pile. (Tip to executive: Make sure your profile clearly defines your talent and skills so the reader quickly grasps your value.)


Generic statement: “Marketing expert looking for a company where I can apply my executive skills to help the company grow.”

Targeted statement: “Global chief marketing officer with success in pioneering B2B & B2C innovative marketing and business development strategies that impact the entire business value chain.”

2. Read between the lines for accomplishments, results and potential. Many executives are prohibited from revealing confidential corporate data and may not be able to reveal the true breadth and depth of their impact on the bottom line. (Tip to executive: Front load your bulleted statements so the recruiter gets the most important information first and then what action you took to achieve it second.)

Example: Reduced time-to-market of new product launches 32% by restructuring the product management organization and driving innovative tactics.

3. Check executive’s most recent job title and employer to see if they held a similar role or is on track for the position being filled. For example, if you’re looking for a CFO, think “possibility” if you see titles like vice president or director of finance. (Tip to executive: Depending on the company size, a director-level title may be equal to a C-level job in another organization. Consider translating your title.)

Example: Director of Finance (Chief Financial Officer equivalent.)

4. Look for positive change in previous roles revealed by dollars, percentages, and improvements. Such phrases as “responsible for,” and “managed” don’t uncover the results of the actions taken and the executive’s contribution to it. (Tip to executive: Create your bullets so that they are accomplishment based rather than duty oriented. Of course, you will need to have a few lines of the major responsibilities for your job above this section, but in your bullet string you should be showcasing achievements.)