HOW TO GET A RECRUITERS ATTENTION
On average a recruiter will spend 6 seconds reviewing your resume. That means you need to capture our attention at the top of your resume or you'll never be considered for the position your applying for. Media related positions are particularly prevalent and qualified candidates are in high demand. If applying to a major media company then recruiters will frequently get thousands of résumés for every entry level job and hundreds for higher-level jobs.
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More often than not job postings include most, if not the entire job description. This should serve as your guide to writing a focused résumé. Reviewing the job posting is key. We judge suitability of a candidate based on prior "related" experience, skills and education. The worse thing you can do is blindly apply for positions that "you feel you can do" or that "sound cool" without possessing the required qualifications.
If you're a recent graduate then your education, related part-time jobs, internships and extra curricular activities will be what the recruiter takes into consideration. If you're an experience professional then only include jobs and skills related to the job. Apply for jobs that you meet at least 60% to 70% of the qualifications for. That's because as recruiters we know that we will rarely find " the perfect candidate who possesses every single thing a manager is looking for. No one is perfect.
The more focused you are on the related field the better chance you have of securing the job you want. Important determining factors on your fit for a particular position include: your knowledge of the industry, how much experience you have in the functional area and the related skills you possess. Resumes should be customized for every role you apply for. You should aim to include as many of these factors on your resume as possible.
There are no steadfast rules for a perfect resume but related experience should appear as close to the top as possible. Using a "Summary of Qualifications" is a great way to highlight that at the top of the resume. Basically that is your elevator pitch listing why you're a fit for the job you're applying for. Include the specific related skills you being to the table that the company would value. if you're seeking to get into TV production you should possess video shooting and editing skills.
Reading a job description gives you clues on what to include. For example: if you're seeking a marketing position listing your academic or professional achievements specifically in "marketing" would be an excellent way of catching a recruiters attention. If your background or college major is not related then you must highlight other relates accomplishments. Any special related projects you've worked on or volunteer programs you've been involved in that were marketing related should be listed. Related job titles, awards, non-professional projects and extra curricular activities are a perfect way of demonstrating your interest in a field.
It also helps to have the text bolded, italicized and/or underlined because it draws our attention to that section right away. Recruiters will usually "scan" resumes for keywords that relate to the job. So anything you can do to capture our attention the better. Avoid using graphics or graphic elements on your resume because if you're applying through an applicant tracking system it may throw off the formatting.
What you shouldn't do is list any "unrelated" jobs you've had because they're not relatable to the field you are applying for. Joining clubs and volunteering to do related duties to your targeted field are an excellent way of showing how you're focused on acquiring the related skills that make you a fit for that job. For example; if you want to get into video production volunteering to do a video for a local non-profit, club or organization demonstartes your passion for that area and gives you a project you can share with a potential hiring manger that demonstrates your skills..
Cover letters are also key. When evaluating potential candidates they are frequently used to determine an applicants writing skills. Make sure your cover letter is well written, have no mistakes and are no longer than 3 paragraphs long. Again highlighting key "related” accomplishments should be included. Any other skills that can make you standout from other applicants are extremely important as well. Those skills can be included on the cover letter or listed on a separate section on your resume called "Other Skills".
A perfect example of this would be if you're looking to get into social media and you happen to have digital photography, Photoshop or video editing skills because these are "valuable" skills to have becasue video & photography is what works best on social media. So just being proficient on using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram may not be enough to get you that role. But possessing skills that would make you a more valuable candidate over other applicants may be the clincher for you.
Finally one of the most important things that will capture a recruiters attention is your enthusiasm and knowledge of the company. That can be demonstrated on a resume, cover letter or during an interview. So doing your homework before hand can go a long way.
If you take the time to craft a well formatted, focused resume, full of related keywords, skills and experience then you improve your chance to make the cut and grab a recruiters attention.
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"As someone who works in the creative area of broadcast media I found my coaches advice particularly insightful because not many coaches know the many roles we play in creative departments. She really knew the inside scoop on what media HR pros are looking for when they receive a resume and more importantly she understands what their needs are. Her real-world experience made it easy for her to understand what I do and how others see me. I would recommend anyone to her seeking connections in media."
Delia Camasca is an Executive Recruiter specializing in digital media and has placed top talent for media giants such as NBC Universal, Disney ABC Media Networks, ABC News.com, Lifetime Networks, HBO and Warner Brothers/DC Comics. She ‘s recruited all levels of marketing, new media, web, editorial, news, journalists, broadcast and cable production staff and creative professionals. You can follow her on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter- @tvmediacareers