Not very much.
I know that sucks. You spend a lot of time & effort in making sure your resume is well prepared, accurate and attractive. You make sure its professional and yet not common, makes you stand out and yet not sound boastful. Some even hire specialists to help them make a resume that does all the above.
And yet, the recruiter only spends maybe 20-30 seconds the first time they encounter your resume.
Let me talk about the reasons first, and then we will talk about what to do.
Here are the reasons:
1. With the online method of application, one can apply to jobs in a simple click. This maybe good when you are applying, but it is disastrous at the other end. The sheer number of resumes that flow in for any position is large and sometimes it is a deluge.
2. Everybody applies. There seems to be no think and apply strategy here. Since it is so easy to apply (monster, for e.g. lets you apply to a number of jobs together!) some don’t even read what the requirements are.
3. The new recruiter is very excited with the number of responses, until she starts sifting through them. Junk Junk & more junk. Pretty soon, she is bored!
What do you need to do?
1. Apply only to jobs you really are interested in. Don’t send your resume to every thing that comes up on your job search.
2. Tailor your resume for the job you are applying for. I have received the same resume from candidates for the positions of Restaurant Manager, Food & Beverage Manager and General Manager.
3. Know what the recruiter is looking for. You will see this in the candidate specifications.
a. If the recruiter has specified an area of expertise, highlight that.
b. If the emphasis is on experience, bold that.
c. If the thrust is on a particular company or location, lead with that.
4. Forget attachments. Put your resume in the mail. It is cumbersome to open attachments.
5. See how your summary looks. Most sites (naukri, monster, timesjobs) have a summary of your resume sent to the recruiter. She may not go further than that if the summary does not talk about what she is looking for.
6. Make your resume jump/stand out. Do something unconventional with your resume. Some caution here, do not make it a presentation, do not make it in rainbow colors.
All in all, you have to ensure you pass the screening stage. Post that, most recruiters will spend a considerable amount of time on it.