What Do Recruiters Look For in a Resume?
Writing a resume is no easy task. Recruiters and hiring managers around the globe all have different key aspects and things they look for when evaluating an applicant’s resume. Even though they might not all be looking for the same things, there are certain elements that all resumes should have, regardless of what type of job you’re applying for.
One of the most important things recruiters check is whether or not you’ve accurately presented yourself in your resume. This will let them know whether they should invite you for an interview or not. We’re going to break down the most important things recruiters tend to look for in resumes.
THINGS EMPLOYERS AND RECRUITERS LOOK FOR IN A RESUME
1. Your Location and Contact Details
Though it might seem obvious, including your contact details and your location is something people tend to forget to include in their resumes. This doesn’t mean you should include your full address, it’s okay to simply include your current suburb and city. It’s important to let recruiters know where you’re located and where you’re available to come to work if the position you’re applying for is in-house.
Don’t leave it up to the recruiter to figure out whether you’re able to commute for work, but instead, make it very clear from the beginning. This will let recruiters know from the very beginning whether or not you’re a suitable candidate for their company.
It’s also smart to let your employer know whether you’re eligible to work abroad if you’re applying for a position that requires you to move. This will help with the general logistics and it will definitely help recruiters weed out any candidates that don’t fit the job requirements in that sense.
When it comes to contact details, make sure to include your email and also your phone number. This will make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you with their preferred method of contact. Make sure you have a professional email address that includes your name and ditch any old email address with nicknames or anything else that might leave the wrong impression.
2. Previous Job Experience
After taking a quick glance at your contact details and location, any recruiter’s logical next move is to go over your employment history. Naturally, this section should come right below the introductory part of your resume.
If you’ve worked for any big names, make sure to include that in your resume, as company recognition can tell recruiters a lot about the candidate, including their abilities and skills. If you’ve worked for a big brand, you’ll be more likely to get selected than any other candidates.
But if you haven’t, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean that your job experience is irrelevant. List any and all previous jobs you’ve hand in the following manner:
- Job Title
- Name of the company
- Employment dates, including month and year
- Your job duties and responsibilities
Always list your previous work experience with the most recent one at the beginning. This will give recruiters a clear overview of your career path and progress.
Make sure that your previous work experience comes in as consistently as possible with the role you’re applying for. This means tailoring your job duties and responsibilities to show off what you can do if you get selected for the position.
If you’re unsure of what your resume should look like depending on the type of job you want, you can check out our blog section for job-specific resumes.
Make sure to include any accomplishments or noteworthy achievements you’ve earned while working at a company. This can include training certificates or even awards. Recruiters and hiring managers love to see that potential job candidates achieved great results in their previous job, and this will give you a huge advantage compared to other candidates.
For example, if you previously worked as a sales representative, definitely include the target amounts or percentages you were expected to achieve, and then show off how you overachieved.
If you worked in marketing, include any relevant information or statistics regarding successful advertising campaigns, follower growth, completed courses, or anything else that can let recruiters know that you’re a hard worker and that you’re sure to bring them results.
The next most important section after your previous job experience is the education section. This section is especially important if you don’t happen to have a lot of work experience. Your education section in your resume is going to play an even more significant role if the job you’re applying for has specific qualification requirements.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in management consulting, the employer will probably want to hire someone with a relevant degree. This is why it’s crucial to list your education properly by including your school, college, or university and the exact degree you’re holding.
While some companies might be more about education than others, it certainly doesn’t hurt to list your achievements in education, and you can even include training certificates, completed courses, online classes, seminars, and similar.
5. Skills and Other Industry Knowledge
If you’re applying for a job that has specific industry requirements, for example, a job where you’d be responsible for setting up and monitoring ad campaigns on Google, the recruiter is probably going to look through your skills section and look for relevant digital marketing skills.
A great idea would be to include relevant keywords since most recruiters will skim through a resume and use CTRL or command + F to search for these keywords. The same applies to companies that use ATS software. Don’t forget to include relevant tools that you know how to use since these are always appreciated.
Including your skills is sure to complement your job experience and will make you stand out from the rest of the applicants. It will also illustrate your suitability for the open position.
Always tailor your skills to the type of job you’re applying to. You don’t have to go overboard with skills and other industry knowledge just to have as many as possible. It’s actually better to concentrate on the skillset that’s actually necessary for the job you’re seeking.
6. Organization and Clear Formatting
Recruiters love to see a well-organized resume. This will leave a great impression, as you’ll seem more detail-oriented and neat. Also, make sure that your resume is not confusing, but instead easy to read through.
It’s also an excellent idea to use a spell checker and make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors, as this can indicate that you didn’t pay much attention or time to carefully crafting your resume.
When it comes to fonts, use professional-looking fonts, such as Arial, Times New Roman, Veranda, or Helvetica. Avoid using goofy or cartoonish fonts.
You want your resume to grab the attention of the recruiter, and this can be achieved by making sure it looks and feels professional. Ensure that there are no inconsistencies – for example, your experience and education sections should always be in reverse chronological order.
Also, make sure that your resume is concise and don’t try to impress recruiters by adding irrelevant information just to make it longer. The key is to create a link in the mind of the recruiter between the job role you’re applying for and you.
When it comes to formatting your resume, it’s imperative to make it easily accessible to the reader. Save the file as a PDF, and keep it under 1 MB to avoid clogging the inbox of the recruiter. You could possess all the skills in the world, but if you fail to deliver them to the recruiter properly, you could hinder your chances of getting selected, so be mindful of these things and always double-check everything before sending it over.
If you’re unsure of how your resume should look, you can also use an online resume template that will help make your resume professional-looking and easy to read.
7. Resume Length
Another thing you should take into account before putting your resume out there is the length. On average, a good-quality resume shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages. This helps the recruiter skim through your resume, so keep it short and sweet.
Going overboard and trying to include as many skills, courses, training, and experiences is not going to increase your chances of getting hired. Remember – less is more. Include only what’s relevant to the job listing you’re applying to and avoid cluttering your resume with information that’s not going to help the recruiter decide whether you’re a good fit for the job.
8. Online Footprint
In today’s day and age, where social media plays a huge part in everyone’s life, it is only logical that recruiters are going to look you up on social media. That’s why it’s a clever idea to include links to your social media profiles, such as Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn.
Make sure to perform a social media screening on yourself before applying for a new job. It’s of utmost importance to make sure that your social media profiles stay clean and free of anything that could hinder your chances of getting selected.
There’s a reason why employers check candidates’ social media accounts before giving them the job. No company would want to tarnish their reputation and image by hiring a person who’s posting derogatory remarks, immature and inappropriate content, or uses foul language online.
Aside from protecting themselves, employers also want to weed out any candidates that could potentially pose a threat to their employees or customers. Sometimes, social media screenings could also be mandatory by law. Background checks can also be used to prevent criminal activity, such as theft or embezzlement.
In case you have photos or memories you’d like to keep, but which could potentially present themselves as an issue with your employer, make sure to set your profile to private, so that only your friends or whoever you choose can view your content.
How Long Do Recruiters Look At Resumes?
According to Indeed, recruiters spend only 6-7 seconds on average looking at resumes. However, the amount of time spent skimming through a resume might vary from company to company, or from recruiter to recruiter.
For example, if there are only so many applicants on an open job listing, a hiring manager or recruiter might spend more time going through the resumes. Or, if there are lots of applicants, they might even use an automatic resume scanning system.
There’s no definitive answer when it comes to how long it takes recruiters to look at someone’s resume. However, you can still spend sufficient time to ensure that you highlight your strong points and focus on only what’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Taking everything into consideration, a targeted and well-organized resume is the key to getting your resume noticed by recruiters. The first impression you make is crucial, considering the limited time they spend looking at it.
What Skills Do Recruiters Look For In A Resume?
Generally speaking, the type of skills that recruiters look for in a resume will typically depend on the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job in marketing, your recruiter will look for skills such as good communication skills, analytical ability, creativity, and influencing skills.
However, there are certain skills that are wanted and welcome no matter what the job you’re applying for is. Such skills include adaptability, organization, communication, problem-solving, and integrity, to name a few.
Depending on whether you’ll be working in a team of people, your recruiter will also look for teamwork, emotional intelligence, negotiation, and reliability.
Before listing your skills in your resume, take some time to analyze the job you’re applying for and think of specific skills your employer might be looking for. It’s also a good idea to visit the company’s website and find what their ideal employee looks like in terms of skillset.
What is ATS?
ATS, also known as Applicant Tracking System, is a software application that helps a company track all of its recruitment efforts and applications. Nowadays, more and more companies are beginning to filter candidate resumes with ATS before even taking a look at them.
That’s why it’s worth taking a bit of time researching how ATS works and how to avoid your resume being flagged by this software. It’s important to make sure your resume is optimized for ATS algorithms.
The ATS app will typically view all applications and then rank them in an order its algorithm found to be the most relevant for the employer. The app will also do a keyword search, which is why it’s important to carefully tailor your resume to the job.
How Many Pages Should My Resume Be?
There is no definitive answer to this question. However, according to ZipJob, your resume should be no longer than 2 pages. This is the standard resume length that’s enough to include everything that should be relevant to your recruiter, including job experience, education, skills, and other industry knowledge.
Should I Include Everything I Can In My Resume?
There are certain things you should always include in your resumes, such as name, location, contact information, previous experience, and skills.
There’s no need to go overboard and try to include everything you possibly can just to make your resume longer. Actually, recruiters prefer a shorter, more concise resume where they can get a general idea of your abilities just by skimming your resume.
It’s also going to make your resume more likely to pass through an ATS app. Making sure that your resume is easy to read and clean-looking is of utmost importance.
CREATE A PERFECT RESUME THAT WILL IMPRESS RECRUITERS
Writing a good resume is probably one of the trickiest parts of any job application. You might feel like you have too little or too much to say and include in it. What’s most important is that you tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for.
Other than the obvious, which is including your previous job experience, education, and skills, your resume should also have an attention-grabbing title, your location, and updated contact details.
What recruiters look for in a resume will largely depend on the type of job you’re applying for, as well as whether it’s an entry-level or a senior position. Since your resume is going to be the first impression a company gets of you, making sure it’s a great one will make or break your chances of getting hired.
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