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With this article, we’re starting a new series called Ask a Recruiter. Here, we’ll publish interviews with experienced recruiters about one central topic: your resume.
For this article, we chose Sasa Cimbal, owner and main recruiter of Headhunte.rs Agency. Read his answers to our questions:
1. What are 3 most common mistakes candidates make in their resumes?
Inadequate photo is one of the most often mistakes (generally speaking, I am against photographs in resumes). After that, typos are very frequent. In the end, resume content is often not true and that’s easily verifiable.
2. What do you think about graphic resumes?
When they showed up, they were very interesting. However, in my opinion, they will never go mainstream and replace traditional resumes format. The only niche where I see the benefits of graphic resumes is web or graphic design. You can leave a good first impression in those fields with graphic resumes. However, I don’t think they provide what traditional resumes do in other industries.
3. What is the first thing you look at in resume?
Mostly keywords relevant for the position I’m currently recruiting for. It’s all about experience and knowledge of candidates from given fields or certain requested certificates. Of course, if a candidate possesses the most important qualifications, I look at a resume with more attention to details. Also, there are various important details outside of a resume which help grasping the complete picture of the candidate.
4. For how long do you stay at one resume at first glance?
I wouldn’t separate first and any next review of the resume. Staying on one resume can be very short, if I realize that candidate doesn’t have requested education or certificate. I’m trying to determine key issues in the beginning and not to lose too much time if the candidate doesn’t fulfill basic requirements.
5. What are 3 main eliminating factors for you when you’re reviewing resumes?
I would point out general literacy and grammatical errors as a first filter. Other factors depend on the position I’m recruiting for. I expect from candidates to present themselves in the right way for their industry and experience.
6. In which way the candidate should be different from the others in order to be called for an interview?
This is applicable in candidate selection for entering positions, where there are a lot of applicants with almost identical experiences and when it’s very hard to determine who you should call between hundreds or thousands of candidates. It’s easier with senior positions; you base your decision on candidate’s resume content. Regarding differences, maybe the graphic resume from previous question would be meaningful for entry positions. The hues are deciding at that level and maybe that kind of innovation could prevail. On the other hand, I always look for volunteer and internship experiences for entry positions.
7. In which ways do you use Applicants Tracking Systems?
I would say that I’m very experienced with that kind of software since I use ATS for almost 10 years, as long as I work in headhunting. I’ve been selling intensively one ATS software for 4 years in western Balkans region with great success. Personally, I can’t imagine the work of the recruitment agency or HR Department of some company without ATS. Benefits are multiple, and that is the topic that overcomes the scope of this interview. I’ll name just a few: internal resume database, easy candidate search, redirection of resumes from inbox to database, interview organization, ease of communication between colleagues in the sector etc.
8. What are the main good attributes of a resume of a candidate that will be called for an interview?
You need to know how to write a quality resume, and that’s not just the appearance or putting everything somebody has done in life. It’s just an entry ticket for the face-to-face interview and for the candidate it’s crucial to present his profile in the best way possible. You can find numerous resume templates online and none of them is wrong if you adjust it to your specific circumstances and experience. You should present yourself in a concise, understandable way, as a quality candidate for certain position. Of course, you should always say the truth 🙂
9. Is LinkedIn useful for your day-to-day work and how do you use it for candidate search?
LinkedIn is definitely one of the most important tools for the job of headhunter. On the other hand, there are so much more quality ways to find candidates and I would say that LinkedIn is one of the last options for me. I try to find candidates through my connections first, through target companies etc. Only if I don’t succeed that way, I start a search on LinkedIn and that’s, by default, for industries I haven’t been recruiting for in the past and where I don’t have developed network of contacts.
10. Tell me something about your headhunting agency. How did everything start? How did you start in this industry?
Headhunte.rs agency exists for more than 4 years. There are 4 employees with experience in different industries. We offer an aggressive way of finding candidates to our clients, without regular announcing of free positions. We try to contact passive candidates, who aren’t looking for a new job and are the most qualified employees for that positions in the industry.
I started doing this job coincidentally 10 years ago, when I was among first headhunters in Serbia. A friend from Canada was a headhunter and he decided to outsource research process to Serbia. So, for the first 2 years I was working on projects exclusively for the clients from Canada and USA. I learned the basics of this job in a North American, slightly aggressive way. I attended a lot of training and courses online and live in Toronto and I recognized this job as something I want to do. I really enjoy it.
Sasa Cimbal LinkedIn
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