The Top Three Things Every Recruiter Is Looking For in Your Resume

The Top Three Things Every Recruiter Is Looking For in Your Resume

The Top Three Things Every Recruiter Is Looking For in Your Resume

Did you know that employers usually spend only seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether or not to ignore it? Here are some strategies for increasing the chances that your resume will be one that gets noticed.

Things to Be Aware of When Writing Your Resume

A poorly written resume can hinder your job search right out of the gate. Recruiters often receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes for open job positions. With so many resumes to sift through, it’s no wonder that they quickly scan through resumes and make a quick decision as to whether or not the candidate is a good one based on their initial impression of the document. So, what can you do to ensure that your resume ends up in the “keep” pile rather than in the trash?

Pay Attention to Formatting, Length, and Organization

One of the first things a recruiter is going to notice about your resume is its appearance. Make sure that your resume is formatted in a way that's easy to read. Don’t go overboard on graphic design elements (unless you’re applying for a job in a design field and it's appropriate for the job and company). Keep in mind that many companies use software to search through your resume for relevant information. Fancy formats can make it difficult for computers to "read" what's there.

In addition to this, you’ll want to be sure that your resume is one page, two at the most. Recruiters don’t have the time to read through lengthy resumes. To keep your document at a reasonable length, only include skills and job experiences that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. You should also ensure that your resume is well organized. Make it easy to find the various sections by bolding the titles of those sections. That way, a recruiter who is interested in finding a specific area of your document will be able to quickly find it.

Hook Them with a Strong Summary

Since you only have mere seconds to make a great first impression on a recruiter, you want to grab their attention quickly. The best way to do this is to include a well-written summary that tells the recruiter who you are, what you’re all about, and why they should seriously consider you for the position. Putting this information up front will ensure that it doesn’t get buried further down within your resume. It will also make the recruiter want to keep reading your resume.

Top Three Items to Focus On

Resume writing can be daunting. Many people have no idea where to focus their efforts. The following three areas are essential for you to be sure you spend a lot of time on. Neglecting them will make it more likely that your resume will wind up in the slush pile.

Make Sure Your Qualifications Fit the Job

Recruiters have to be sure that the people they call in for job interviews match the job description of the open position. Applying for jobs that you are unqualified for wastes both your time and the time of the recruiter. This doesn’t mean limiting yourself to jobs inside of your industry, but it does mean spending some time doing research on how the skills you currently have qualify you for the job position you're seeking. Your resume should immediately show a recruiter that you have what it takes to do the job. It should also show that you’re the best person for the position.

Include Your Previous Work Experience and Accomplishments

You should be sure to list relevant experience and accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself, but do show solid outcomes wherever you can. Don’t just list your job responsibilities. Include quantifiable information that demonstrates how the business benefitted from your actions. For instance, if you’ve increased sales in your department, tell the recruiter by how much. If you’ve led a team, include the number of people you led on that team.

Use Keywords

One often overlooked area of resume writing is the use of keywords. Since job recruiters have to look through so many resumes, they are skimming the document for relevant keywords associated with the open position, or using software to do the same thing even faster. Including the appropriate keywords shows that you are aware of what is going on within your industry. It also shows that you’ve done your research regarding the position. One helpful way to find keywords is to see what words are used in the job posting itself. This can be an excellent starting point.

Present Yourself as a Professional

To further increase your chances of coming across as a professional, edit your resume carefully to be sure that you’re using consistent tenses throughout. For instance, your job history and accomplishments should be in the past tense. As much as possible, you should also use the third person. In addition to this, you want to make sure that the email address you're using looks professional as well.

First impressions count with resumes as much as anywhere. These tips will help you ensure that yours makes an excellent first impression on job recruiters. Wowing a recruiter with a great resume makes it more likely that you’ll make it past the initial reading and into their office for a job interview.

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