How Recruiter Resume Tips Make it Harder to Find Quality Talent

I just read an article distributed by Career Builder on behalf of Robert Half Technology, a large nation-wide recruiting firm. The premise of the article was that employers were desperately seeking IT talent and you [the reader] don’t have a job. With a little hocus pocus, and a lot of reading through their listings, your CV is improved and you’re happily employed.

Whether intentional or not, articles such as this make the implication, albeit subtly, that the job seeker is damaged in some way and can be improved by a few quick tips. No matter what the source of the article, those “tips” are invariably “make your resume congruent with the job posting.”

The reason, I believe, that there are so many open IT positions is not lack of talent, job-seeking or otherwise, but a lack of understanding of how to attract talent. Recruiters will filter and “deselect” applications like no-one else, but they allow far too many unrealistic positions to make it to market. You’re training your applicants to doctor their resume to be so unrecognizable that it actually passes your screening systems? Really? Why not just ditch the screening system, get to know your applicant, and explain to your client why they’d be a good fit.

I’m willing to bet that your heart surgeon doesn’t practice law. Before you brand them as incapable, ask yourself, do you really need them to? If not, do you really need them to imply as much before you’ll meet with them? Please.