Aimed Resumes

An aimed resume is a standardized way of customizing a resume to work around the fact that there is a mismatch in the hiring process between recruiting systems, resumes, cover-letters, and how hiring actually works. An aimed resume requires no extra work from a recruiter, but should make a recruiter’s job of filtering resumes much easier and should cut down on resume spam. As a courtesy, there are suggestions a recruiter can follow that long-term will make their lives easier and provide them with higher quality candidates.

For a job hunter, an aimed resume provides a quick and easy way to communicate to a recruiter exactly how they are qualified for a given position. This should save them enormous amounts of time over tweaking resumes and writing cover letters.

Tasks for the Recruiter (Almost nothing)

  • If the resume has been aimed for the position you’re trying to fill, you’re done. The candidate has already cross-referenced the resume with their positions and qualifications and marked up the position requirements.
  • As a courtesy, you might wish to drop them a quick thank you for customizing their resume, job hunters rarely get any feedback from resume submission, so its nice to know if someone has actually read their resume. Thanking candidates even if they’re not a fit will encourage them to continue to aim their resume, and cut down on the amount of resume spam. It will also let them resubmit for a different position that they might be a better match for.
  • If the resume has been aimed for a different position, if its close enough, you may be done. If not, drop the candidate an email if they seem close. For a job seeker, part of aiming a resume is committing to responding quickly and honestly to a list of requirements. It will take you less time to send them an email then it will be to dig the gold out of their resume, and they’ll be glad to communicate with a human being.
  • Consider searching for aimed resumes once/week. Candidates who aim their resumes but that are matches for multiple positions at your company will submit for one position at a time, but since they don’t get any feedback from submissions they will only wait a week between submissions. Even if you are working on a high-priority recruitment, aimed resumes on the lower priority positions should be spam free, so it should be worth a bit of time to do this.

Tasks for the Job Seeker (5 minutes that could get you a job)

  1. Raise your right hand and promise not to apply for positions you’re not qualified for and to be honest about requirements. It doesn’t do any good and it annoys the recruiters. Applying for a position that is a slight stretch is probably OK, but most likely you’ll have to network your way into that position.
  2. When you go to a company website and find a job you could do, rank the positions in the order that you would like them. In the case of a tie, choose the oldest position first. Take that list, and store the links to those positions in a reminder calendar 1 week apart, with the first one today.
  3. Take your resume, and cut/paste the job requirements to the top. For each requirement, prefix it with:
    • +: You meet this criteria.
    • -: You don’t meet this criteria. DON’T LIE. IT’S ANNOYING.
    • ?: The criteria is unclear.
  4. On the next line after each requirement, Write a single sentence explaining why this is true.
  5. Prefix the list of requirements with the following text: This resume has been aimed for the following requirements. For more information about aimed resumes, see:

That’s it! For discussion and background on the aimed resume process, see my posting.

P.S. For Recruiting Software Developers

Contact me at for suggestions how this could be integrated into your software.

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