Job Seeker Advice from a Veteran Technical Recruiter

Sep 19, 2017 9:39:56 AM

Resume tips, interview advice and more from our Senior Technical Recruiter, Roxane Brock. Roxane was Istonish’s first official employee in 1991. She has been recruiting in the technology space for 25+ years and currently leads our IT Staffing Services.


What’s the first thing you look for when you receive a resume? Typically I’ll be looking for key skills that our client is requesting us to source. Those key skills should be quickly captured in a qualifications summary at the top of a resume. It’s important when applying to a position that the requirements that are listed in the position description be highlighted in that summary and also well communicated in the body of the resume. This means you may change up your qualifications summary for each position you apply to.

IT staffing professionals at Istonish.jpgThe next thing I look for is employment history. I like to see stability and longevity in a persons’ background. If you have a lapse in employment, you may want to mention why like “started own company” or “raised family” etc. I also look for general look and feel of the resume and, of course, grammar/spelling.


I can typically look at a resume very quickly and determine if this would be someone I’d like to follow up with. If I cannot decipher what the person does or cannot follow their resume in a logical order, I will set it aside.  

How important are my certifications? Certifications are fabulous, specifically in IT – most clients will use certifications in order to weed out resumes and pull only folks with certifications that align with their position. It takes time and extra effort to complete certifications. Employers take note of that.

Should I apply for a job even if I don’t check every box on the job description? Absolutely. Typically job descriptions are like wish lists, I will take that into account when reviewing resumes. If you don’t have everything that the client might be looking for, you should include “like” skills. For example if you don’t have experience with Juniper but you have experience with Cisco, that would appropriate to point out in a cover letter or in your qualifications summary on your resume.

What are you really paying attention to during a phone screen with a candidate? Good communications skills and also listening skills. I typically will set up a scheduled time for a call and I can tell if I’m speaking with someone that is working on something else or seems distracted. If a time is scheduled for a call with a recruiter and/or client, put everything away and focus on the task at hand. I know that some candidates talk with many recruiters and may not feel its real importance, however, if someone is not giving me their direct attention or is not courteous, engaging, etc. this is a direct indication to me that the candidate will treat my client in the same regard. Which in turn means, I will not present them to my client.

Do you have any in-person interview advice? Always plan to be there 10 minutes early – at a minimum dress business casual if you are unsure. Do your research – look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn – read the company website and be knowledgeable in what the company’s goals and core values are.

How do you screen a candidate for culture fit? There are several questions you can ask that may screen for a good culture fit:

  • What type of work environment do you feel makes you most productive and happy.
  • Who was your best boss you have ever had and what made them the best?
  • What management style do you work well with?
  • What makes you happy at work?
  • How would your previous or current co-workers describe your work style?

Any other wisdom you would like to share? As a recruiter, it’s important to me to update the candidates I’m working with on the progress I’m making with the client even if you don’t have an update for them. In turn, if you are a candidate working with a recruiter, keep them posted on your search. Open communication is always best. At a minimum, keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. If you are partial to other job boards, attempt to keep your resume up to date on those as well. If you wish not to be contacted, remove or inactivate your resume.


Istonish is a different kind of Technology Company. We don’t employ technicians—we employ tech leaders. What does that mean? It means that the pioneering spirit our company was founded on runs through every one of us, driving us to reach higher and to do more.

If you have the mind of a leader, the drive of an entrepreneur—if you’re interested in not only delivering best-in-class solutions, but defining them—we want to hear from you. Get in touch!

Roxane Brock

Written by Roxane Brock

Roxane was Istonish’s first official employee in 1991 and has been recruiting in the technology space for 25+ years.

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