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What recruiters want to see in a resume
The average recruiter spends a mere six seconds reviewing a resume. That’s not much time, so you’ve got to make the most of it and have your resume communicate itself quickly and easily. By knowing what recruiters are looking for, you can tailor your resume to stand out amongst the crowd.
Recruiters are interested in your current employment status, as well as your career progression. If they’re recruiting for a fast-paced industry you need to show that you’re active within the industry and up-to-date.
Clearly show the start and end dates of your jobs, as well as marking out if you are still in a position. If there is a significant gap (more than one year) in your career history, consider adding in a brief sentence explaining the gap and keep anyone from jumping to the wrong conclusion.
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While it may be tempting to shake things up and use a unique format or structure, at the end of the day you are trying to make your resume as easy for a recruiter to read as possible, and this depends heavily on how your resume is laid out.
Make sure your contact information is clear, either at the top of the resume or embedded in your header. Dense paragraphs of text can make the eyes skip or miss things, so use clear sub-headings to break up your sections and help a recruiter find the information they’re looking for. Similarly, you should be describing your achievements in each job clearly and quickly with bulleted short sentences; there’s no need for long paragraphs.
Short and sweet
Depending on how long you’ve been in the workforce, your resume should be between one and three pages, but keep it as brief as you can. If you do have more than one page in your resume, make sure every page is numbered and has your contact information prominently displayed.
Quantify your achievements
It can be tempting to make timelines seem longer or figures seem larger with vague terms like “several years” or “improved budget”, but nothing catches the eye like hard statistics. Be specific with dates and figures – if you improved a company’s growth, make sure you put your numbers in your resume front and centre.
Certain positions such as sales or management are very numbers-focused, and while it may feel like boasting, it’s important to highlight your achievements in a way that will stand out. If you don’t have hard statistics, you can talk about managing or steering projects, reaching targets or deliverables, or what key responsibilities you had.
Many positions are only available to candidates with certain qualifications, such as academic certificates or proficiency in certain software or programs. If a recruiter is looking to fill a position with a pre-requisite like a postgraduate degree or familiarity with 3D mapping, they most likely will be looking for resumes with these qualities and possibly filtering out resumes without those specific keywords and phrases. List in full your qualifications relevant to your field close to the top of the page, where recruiters are most likely to look first.
To talk to a recruiter about your resume, contact Page Personnel today.
The easiest way to get your resume seen by recruiters is to know what they’re looking for:
• Your most recent work and career timeline
• A clear structure to easily find relevant information
• Quickly and clearly getting to the point
• Use hard numbers rather than vague statements
• Clearly list your relevant industry qualifications