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What do Recruiters look for in a Resumé at First Glance?

By | Blog, Career, Job, Recruiting | No Comments

To get the best talent for the client, a recruiter will spend the time to evaluate resumes in accordance with the target profile. They will look at the resume components that relate to the candidate’s potential to be successful in the client’s organization. They will try to understand both tangible and intangible facets of a candidate’s background in relation to the client’s requirements for that position. Here are 10 specific areas that recruiters look at:

  1. What kind of organizations, teams, and cultures has the candidate worked in (i.e. corporate vs entrepreneurial, teamwork vs individual/expert consulting focuses work, focused on innovation/continuous improvement, etc.)?
  2. Is there any recent time gap in the resume? Could that kind of gap affect the relevancy of the candidate’s skills for the role they are applying for?
  3. If a candidate has focused on contract work, it may appear like job hopping – clarify whether a job was a contract or not by mentioning it in the resume. It could be that for the current job the client is looking for loyalty to previous employers (i.e. 3+ years average) or for someone who can come in and solve a problem and move on.
  4. Amount and relevancy of quantifiable achievements/facts – i.e. for each job, list top 3 achievements, and top 3 activities you’ve been involved in.
  5. The resume should not be too long (more 3 pages), or too short (less than a page), and with just enough info to strike a good balance between keeping it brief and having enough facts.
  6. If you are a recent graduate, fill in the page with the main school, extracurricular or internship projects that you were involved in – what you did and what were the outcomes.
  7. Resumes must be customized for each role in the sense of emphasizing the skills and expertise relevant to the role that the candidate is applying for.
  8. With today’s tools available online, there’s no reason why a resume would not be verified for grammar and spelling accuracy.
  9. Finally, the resume should be structured in such a way that it’s easy to read, without using difficult or unusual fonts (mainly sans serif fonts are easier to read – such as Arial, Segoe UI or Verdana)
  10. Make sure to insert page numbers if your resume is longer than a page. It makes it easy to follow through multiple pages.

Finally, make sure that the resume shows the real you. After all, a resume is a document that shows not only what you did, but what your potential is for your next employer. Use it wisely!

 

Photo credit: Nik MacMillan on Unsplash