How to Think Like a Recruiter to Get that Job Interview

Want to get a job interview? Then begin to think like a Recruiter!

Ask yourself specifically what is the position and exactly who are they looking for to fill it? What qualities do they appreciate in a candidate? Is the company a mission-oriented “all hands on deck until the job is done” culture?

Perform enough research to know where your skills, experiences, and values will be most readily identified as being “positive”, and then give a brief career history highlighting those areas into your resume that bring on an “Aha!” from the reader.

You will find that, more often than not, it will cause the recruiter to pick up the phone and call you in for a job interview!

How to Think Like a Headhunter to Get that Job Interview?

How to Think Like a Headhunter to Get that Job Interview


As a Headhunter or Recruiter what keywords would you enter if you wanted to find the most qualified candidate for the job?

Recruiters expect to find the right person by identifying the resume with the most keywords used in their initial job announcement/advertisement.

Applicant Tracking System (ATF) software

Companies advertising online place relevant and desired “key words” into their resume screening program – Applicant Tracking System (ATF) software. ATF, also known as talent management systems (TMS) is used to garner, analyze, and coordinate resumes and applicant information.

Keywords matter

One important fact – these tracking systems screen out about one half of all resume submissions. Many unsuccessful online job seekers have long believed that their online resume submissions go into an obscure resume abyss. These futile job hunters may really be on to something! Recruiters do not get to see about 40-50% of all online submissions by job hunters. This is because screening software rejects them as “not having the basic qualifications for the job” even though the submitter may truly have the qualifications. Don’t fall into this trap! Place those qualifications into your resume using the correct keywords if you want to get called for a job interview.

To make an impact and prove you are qualified for a position, use the keywords cleverly. Include the exact words that have been used in the position description.  For example use the words operations manager and both of the title words – operations and manager – strategically in your resume, preferably in the top one third.

Try not to confuse the Applicant Tracking Software

Another way to enter the chasm of resume doom is to confuse the screening/tracking software with the presentation of your information and dates in the Job History or Experience section. Set your resume out clearly and don’t be tempted to use any of the online resume templates.

Some Applicant Tracking Software doesn’t deal well with columns or tables either.  You’d think they would have fixed that by now but apparently it’s still a problem in some circumstances.  You don’t want to take the chance!

Clear well written resumes do much better than pretty resumes that have data which might confuse the software.

Headhunters and Recruiters like dynamic words

Commence statements within your Achievements section with a dynamic action word. Include action words such as “Employed forward thinking leadership to motivate staff…”, or “Led teams in operational and compliance initiatives, improving internal control, and financial results…”.

It’s not all about you!

It really isn’t all about you, it’s all about the Headhunter or Recruiter and their company or the company they represent. Take a look at the company’s website for clues to their values.  Can you align yourself with a company’s culture (often defined by their mission statement)? Aligning yourself and your resume with the organization and its mission is extraordinarily important for success in any online resume submission and getting that job interview.

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