I’m not sure why I haven’t recommended this earlier. I guess that we get used to what we need to do in our daily jobs and forget what kind of info might be important to someone who doesn’t get to see it from the inside. I have a little tip that might help you get your resume in front of a hiring manager more quickly.
First, let me tell you a little about how your resume may or may not get in front of a hiring authority (it’s kind of like how a bill becomes a law…”oh yeah!”). When a recruiter is out looking for candidates, they tend to be looking for something specifically; either a set of skills or a general candidate profile. The customer of this work is the hiring manager (you could argue that the customer is also the prospect or candidate but I’ll save that for another post). The recruiter is looking for people that will meet the hiring managers needs. Typically, the recruiter will generate a certain number of candidates and then the filtering process starts. Assuming that the baseline skills are there, is there anything that knocks this candidate out of the running for this position? The recruiter wants to answer this question before they send the resume to the hiring manager. That way, the hiring manager is making determination based on skill sets and doesn’t look at the recruiter like they are crazy when the recruiter tells them that the hiring managers favorite candidate will not move for the position.
Typically, the recruiter will answer some of these questions by either e-mailing or calling the candidate and asking. Generally, they will ask if the person is open to relocation (if they aren’t in the same geography as the opening), do they have work authorization and are they interested in the company and the position. For good recruiters, it is only after these questions are satisfied that they will send the resume along to the hiring manager (the best recruiters know their businesses so well they also phone interview the candidate and then let the hiring manager know who is coming in for interviews, but it takes a while to build that relationship with the hiring teams).
Oftentimes, the recruiter has time constraints; either they have a lot on their plate or they are generating resumes for a meeting with the hiring manager say…tomorrow. So other than having the right skills on your resume, what can increase your odds of getting your resume in front of the hiring manager? Answering the questions about relo and work authorization right on your resume. I know it sounds weird and counter to the ridiculous one page resume that some people will have you believe is a requirement. But if you think about a recruiter who is working with a large # of positions and candidates with a deadline, the ability to answer those questions immediately significantly increases your odds of having your resume passed through to the hiring team pronto.
If you have posted your resume on a job board or included a cover letter, you might think “the information is already there, I put it in my profile/cover letter”. Well, I’ve got to tell you, few recruiters read cover letters (I’m sorry) and frequently, your resume becomes unattached from the e-mail you sent it in or the cover letter you attached it to. There’s a reason why it’s called an “attachment”…it gets detached.
Anyway, this is just a thought for those of you that want to try to grease the skids a bit with regard to getting your info in front of the hiring manager. Something as simple as “Current US work authorization and open to relocation” or “US Citizen Open to relocation” under your contact information could be a good thing. Even just “Open to relocation” would be great. Aside from sharing that specific information, it will show the hiring team that you are just a tad bit smarter than the other people applying!