Top five ways to make your resume stand out to recruiters in the commercial real estate industry

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“Why is it difficult to get noticed by recruiters in commercial real estate?” This is the most common question I get asked. The answer is likely due to some niche combination of specific software skills and requirements of particular roles. 

The best thing to do is take a step back and do what you can as a candidate to control the outcome. Ask yourself these questions: “What information should I put forward and how should I display it on my resume?” and “How can I create my resume so that it gets noticed by recruiters in commercial real estate?”
Thinking from a recruiter’s perspective gives you increased ability to determine your own fate. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given is to “control the controllable”. Keeping that in mind, here are the top 5 ways to get your resume noticed.

1. Make us want to read your resume. 
I know this sounds generic and not commercial real estate-specific, but having read literally tens of thousands of resumes in my career (And by read, I mean skimmed – It sounds harsh but it is true), I can attest that not many resumes stand out enough to compel recruiters to read them. Make it very clear who you are and why you are the candidate we have been looking for. Make your opening statement short and catchy, your font easy to read and your format visually appealing. If you don’t like the look of your resume, neither will we.

2. Start with your education. 
This is important. For many roles, having the right degree can make all the difference between a yes and no decision. Put it up front and let us read through the rest of your resume knowing you have one of the qualifications we are looking for. Have you only completed a few college credits? Still working on that degree? Add detail around this to give yourself credit for the education you’ve completed. Don’t have college experience? Don’t worry; you have plenty of other chances to show us why you’re the right person – but don’t let the small wins get missed by leaving them until the end.

3. Tell us how you have excelled in your current role. 
It’s not what you do, but rather, how you do it that counts. We want “Key Achievements”, “Highlights”, “Notable Wins” – Call them what you want but hit me between the eyes with your top three tangible results and watch your resume rise to the top. Why? Because you, the expert in your field, just provided me the evidence needed to illustrate why you are the person we want. 

4. Make your “Roles and Responsibilities’ quantifiable. 
When you tell us you run a team, how big is it? When you say you are in sales, how much revenue do you generate? How well do you do your job? Use relevant facts and figures to demonstrate your success. It sounds simple, but few candidates do this and it stands out every time! It may be difficult for some individuals to “toot their own horns”, but at the end of the day, you are your own PR machine. 

5. Show us you know this industry. 
Make your skills, experience, software knowledge, and ability to demonstrate consistent learning and progression scream commercial real estate. Do that and we’re calling (So please do include your phone number – Yes, that’s right. I’ve seen resumes without this critical information.).

A bonus tip? Be human. Show us who you are. If you’re a coach by nature, call it out. If you’re a volunteer, we want to know about it. If you thrive on data, let us know. Ultimately, people hire people, not skillsets. By humanizing yourself through the demonstration of your skills and experience you’re showing us not only what you have accomplished, but what you’re capable of doing in the future. 

We’re always looking for aspirational, talented thinkers. Does your resume say that about you? If not, and you want to know more, give me or my team a call. We love having these types of conversations.   


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Evan Brooks

Talent Acquisition Advisor

Chicago - Downtown

Evan is a Talent Acquisition Advisor with the US Human Resources group of Colliers International. Based in the firm’s Chicago office, he currently supports its East Coast offices (Boston, Tri-State, D.C., Atlanta, Florida, etc.) with strategy, sourcing, attracting, interviewing, recruiting and the onboarding of brokerage and marketing support. He is charged with recruiting positions such Client Service Coordinator, Senior Client Service Coordinator, Marketing Specialists, Financial Analysts and, on occasion, Management roles.

Prior to joining Colliers, Evan was a Recruitment Consultant with Michael Page International, where he was responsible for the full recruitment cycle of qualified candidates, managing a book of business unto himself. Before that, he was a recruiter with The Palmer Group in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he was recognized as a ‘Top Performer’ for the entire company in his last three quarters with the firm.

Evan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a Minor in General Business from Iowa State University.

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