At Relabel, we have the opportunity to chat with several different staffing agencies each month on how they've designed their resume formats to clarify the value of their candidates.
Here's what we found:
Add a 'highlights' section to every resume.
Tell your client exactly why a candidate is a fantastic fit based on the description and information they've shared with you.
The overwhelming majority of the best-performing staffing agencies we've spoke with make sure to attach a highlights, 'sizzle reel', or 'game changer' paragraph to every resume.
In fact, it was so prevalent in our conversations that we absolutely had to add this as a feature in our candidate delivery software.
Focus on critical skills that match the job requirements.
Having a 'skills' section at the top of the resume allows hiring managers to quickly skim through keywords to see if a candidate is a fit or not within a matter of seconds. While highlights are important to see how a candidate might be a solid fit, a skills section gives a hiring manager a quick way to 'confirm' if a candidate is up to snuff.
After looking at skills, hiring managers usually corroborate these skills based on the work experience.
An executive summary is a great synopsis of a candidate when well-written; use it in conjunction with highlights.
This one seems to be highly controversial. Having a well-written executive summary is a great way to tell a candidate's story in two or three sentences.
The problem here is that most of the time, it takes a writer's finesse to be able to make this section effective. The majority of the time, a candidate will write their own executive summary that lands placid at best.
A well written executive summary focuses on three things: the work this person has done, how they've solved very specific problems at a company that have lead to excellent outcomes, and where they've worked that might be pertinent to someone wanting to hire them.
John Doe is a senior software engineer that has worked at Google, Facebook, and Netflix. He's helped major tech companies implement Node.js to improve their I/O throughput to save millions of dollars in server infrastructure costs.
Absolutely crushes it, right?
What you normally see is this:
John Doe is software developer with a passion for cinnamon toast crunch. When's not spending time with his wife Sophie, he's playing hockey with his two kids and dog.
Absolutely terrible. It doesn't talk about the value that John could bring to the table; in fact, it sounds like John doesn't actually give a flip about his profession or career.
So while a well-written executive summary is a game-changer; only include it if it actually adds value to the candidate's resume and displays how awesome they are.
Otherwise, leave it out.
P.S. – Do you waste a ton of time reformatting resumes at your staffing agency? Do you still just send your candidates via email? You should check out our new product Relabel.