Posted on August 2015 By Matthew Leak
As part of our recruitment role here at Speller International, we also make it our job to assist and support candidates to gain employment whether they are being represented by ourselves or not.
The purpose of this article is to highlight a current trend that we are seeing in the recruitment industry, and how a few tips and tweaks can have a profound effect on your application for roles with clients.
Historically, the majority of recruitment was done and conducted through line managers, but over the last few years the growing trend for larger businesses in particular has been to filter recruitment through their own internal function. With this change in process, we are also seeing a need for our candidates to adapt their cover letters and resumes accordingly. Let me confirm though, this adaptation of the resume is not designed to get a candidate a role and manipulate information; it is purely designed to prioritise and reformat the most applicable parts of a candidates background to the right audience.
In our world of SAP, candidate resumes are packed full of acronyms, abbreviations and what seem to be a full alphabet of modules and specialisations. All of this detail is extremely important to managers working in an SAP project, as it tells them exactly where to put the candidate and the function they will be doing. However, to a recruitment professional, it can be easy to get lost in all of this detail, and could cause a candidates application to not make it through the ‘paper sift’ due to a poor layout and/or not explaining the culture / personality side of a candidate that is also fundamental to most businesses in 2015.
So, what areas of your resume could you improve upon to ensure it ticks more of the boxes for a company in my opinion:
When it comes to your work history, always place your most current position first, and then work back in chronological order, and in reality, the last 10 years should be enough experience for a company to review, and makes it easier for them to see the more relevant information quicker. When you list your role responsibilities it’s important to say ‘I did’ this and that instead of ‘we did’ – you want to demonstrate your achievements, not your previous team achievements.
Always list your full education history, be honest and accurate. The college grades do not need to be there, but any qualification / degree / masters actually awarded should be.
If you are applying for a role in the same industry as the one you are working, absolutely state this in your cover letter very early. An ever increasing number of companies especially over recent times absolutely want industry experience to fit in quicker and in their mind, you will have a better chance of success.
This in reality is the most important point. Recruiters and HR alike are employed to find the best talent in the market. You will have already stated your credentials and work experience in SAP, but where is the element that demonstrates a potential culture fit for their company? Include hobbies and interests as a start, but also give an example of teamwork, or going above and beyond to help others, or how you communicate effectively across divisions.
The vast majority of roles nowadays are not in business silos, and will require excellent communication skills, even in technical SAP roles – so show it.
Always include one, always!
This is the real opportunity to tell a recruiter for a company why you feel you are a fit for the specific role applied for – so tell them.
They often say you have 10-20 seconds for a recruiter to review your resume, so leave the majority of the SAP speak and career history in the resume, and pack the cover letter with ‘personality’ and ‘feel’.
There are many more ways to explain your career history to someone, but without understanding who is reviewing the many applicants applying for the roles you want, you may not even get the chance!