Cleared Job Fair Feedback, the Toughest and Easiest Positions to Fill

Posted by Rob Riggins

Verizon recruiter assisting a job seeker at a Cleared Job FairAt our recent Cleared Job Fairs we asked cleared recruiters several questions that cleared cleared job seekers will find of interest. We also asked Patra Frame to share with us some of the issues she saw while reviewing cleared resumes.

Do you prefer receiving a resume as a PDF or a Word document

No recruiter we spoke to expressed a preference for a PDF version of a cleared job seeker’s resume. Several said it didn’t matter, but an even larger number want to receive a Word document. The reasons vary:

“PDFs cause issues with our ATS”

“PDFs are an issue with our firewall”

What was even more surprising is that several recruiters shared that they correct typographical errors and formatting issues in the job seeker’s resume before sending it on to hiring managers.

“I review a job seeker’s resume and correct errors. I’m helping people not to step on their own foot.”

So if you’re sending an electronic copy of your resume to a recruiter, avoid PDFs.

What are the toughest and easiest positions for recruiters to fill

Do you know what your competition is in the marketplace? Whether your skills are in demand or fairly common in the cleared community? From our survey of companies attending our recent Cleared Job Fair, surprisingly some of the hardest to fill positions are not all in the IT field.

Easiest to fill cleared positions:

  1. Help Desk/Customer Service
  2. ISSO, Information Assurance
  3. Intel Analysts
  4. Project/Program Managers

Hardest to fill cleared positions

  1. Branch Banking
  2. C / C++ software engineers
  3. Geospatial Analysts
  4. IT Attestation
  5. Java Programmers
  6. Juniper Network Engineers
  7. Software Developers
  8. Software Engineers
  9. Strategic Planners

Are you willing to take a reduced salary

One cleared job seeker who was with us earlier in the year was adamant at the time that he would not take a salary reduction for a new position. He checked in with us October 9th to share that he was quite sad that he had turned down a position in April that was only 3% less than his previous salary. In the ensuing six months he’s lost much more than that.

Be careful of the principles you stand on so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. For more on this subject check out Cleared Salaries, Budget Cuts and Reality.

Resume Review notes from Patra Frame

Air Force veteran and HR executive Patra Frame reviewed over 50 resumes for us at the Cleared Job Fair. Some of the comments Patra shared with us about issues she saw include:

  1. A transitioning military person who had worked so hard to get his information down to one page that he missed key points about his experience – all because he had been told in a transition class that one page was the only acceptable resume length. I’m seeing this more and more and it’s not necessary to shorten your resume to one page.
  2. Lots of folks buried their security clearances on the bottom of the second page. Your security clearance should be at the top of page one.
  3. Two resumes were written in the third person and three had “I” statements for each bullet, and in summary. Your resume should be written in first person, but without “I” statements.
  4. Several cleared job seekers had “references upon request” at the end of their resume. Don’t reference references on your resume! It’s an assumption that you will provide them at the appropriate time.
  5. Lots of resumes had too much formatting (heavy colored lines, boxes, graphics). The cleared job seekers were quite surprised at my comments to remove most of the formatting and graphic treatments as they doesn’t scan well.



This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 7:04 am

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