3 Resume Tips from an SAIC Sourcer to Help Employers Find You

Posted by Ashley Jones
3 resume tips

Rob Stockel, Principal Sourcing Specialist – Military Outreach Lead at SAIC, joined us on our Military Monday webinar series to discuss his top resume tips for cleared job seekers. As a sourcer, Rob’s job is to find people. So he knows a thing or two about how best to be found.

In fact, looking at 50-100 resumes is a slow day for Rob. When he’s sourcing, it’s more like 200 or 300 resumes. Consider these tips from Rob to ensure your resume will be found by sourcers like him.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Long

From a sourcing capacity, if it’s not there, I won’t find it. You hear a lot of advice about one page resumes. To me, a one pager is something you hand in when you’re going to sit down for an interview, so they have a quick overview.

Sourcing is done through resume databases online, and we’ve got to be able to find it. So the more you can include (in your job board resume), the more likely we’re going to reach out. So again, if it’s not there, I can’t find it. If I can’t find it, I’m not going to be able to locate you unfortunately. And that’s really how it works.

2. Don’t Be Fancy

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are all different, but they’re all the same. When it comes to being found, you don’t want to give us any reason to say no to your resume. I’ve had situations with text boxes, borders, shading, pictures – the whole nine yards. You think your resume looks great, but you upload it into an ATS and information falls off.

For instance, it doesn’t look like you have a degree. You do have one, but it was something as simple as it was in a header, text box or you put it as a picture that the ATS couldn’t read.

So I always advise, use a plain Word document. If you save it to a PDF for submission, paste it into Microsoft Word to see how it comes back over. Doublecheck, because it might leave stuff off. I’ve even seen it put spaces between letters, which an ATS will look at as an individual letter, not as a word.

3. Highlight the Big Four

The big four I need to find quickly are education, certifications, experience, and your security clearance. At my last organization, I came from the bid and proposal side. We were bidding with the federal government to be awarded work based on the candidates that we found. I’ve formatted thousands of resumes, and what you like and what you don’t like becomes second nature. It became very apparent, if you can answer these four questions pretty quickly, you’re going to really increase your chances of somebody reaching out to you.

I recommend you start with a little summary, which is going to have the number of years of experience you have. It’s going to tell me right off the bat, “X amount of years.” So if I’m looking for 4, 6,10 years, I’m thinking, okay it’s worth viewing a little bit longer.

Then right after that, we’re going to look at education. There may be situations where they’ll allow years of experience in lieu of a degree, but in most situations we’re going to be looking for that education piece.

And then from an IT side, there’s going to be certain certifications that are required. Once we see all those and your clearance right at the top, then I’m going to dive into the experience section and look for other factors.

What Happens After Rob Finds Your Resume

Like I said, if it’s not there, I can’t find it. But my ultimate goal is to find it and call you to have a quick chat. Know that if I’m reaching out to you, it’s because you have a very specific skill set that I’m looking for.

Once we identify that it’s a fit for you and it seems like something you want to throw your hat into the ring for, we get you in front of the hiring team. If I’m sending you over, I’m expecting an interview. So we’re going to do everything that we can to make sure that happens, because I don’t want to waste your time. They’ll look over your resume, and if they want to chat, we schedule an interview. Once you get to the interview stage, the ball is in your court. A lot of times, it’s one or two rounds.

You never know, you might have that conversation and decide, this just isn’t for me. There’s no harm, no foul. We have hundreds of roles. Just because that one’s not a fit doesn’t mean we don’t have something else for you. We’re always happy to go about that at the end of the day.

In recruiting, when you’ve been doing this long enough, you understand you’re really a facilitator of conversations. And once you can make that conversation, or kind of that virtual handshake happen and get that ball rolling, you have a lot better shot.

But if you’re getting contacted by SAIC, we have something for you. We’re trying to bring you on.

View all SAIC positions on ClearedJobs.Net

Hear more from Rob’s appearance on ClearedJobs.Net’s Military Monday webinar here.


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 10, 2023 1:46 pm

One thought on “3 Resume Tips from an SAIC Sourcer to Help Employers Find You”

  1. Thank you! I keep tweaking my soon to be post-military retirement resume. Looks like I’ll be pulling my security clearance from the header. I found it very good info that less is not more in ATS too.

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