Understanding What Recruiters Look For In A Resume

During the job search, a resume is the first point of contact between you and the employer. It allows employers to learn more about your skills, experience and achievements and sets the stage for future interactions such as interviews and screening processes. While applying for a job, analyse your resume as if you were a recruiter. This will help you to identify ways to improve the resume.

Still wondering how? Read on. There are five major elements that all recruiters are likely to look for in a resume.

Necessary Qualifications For The Job

Every job posting has a list of qualifications that the candidate must possess in order to be eligible for the position. Ensure that your resume shows that you meet these qualifications. For example, if a job posting clearly states that the candidate must have a degree in a particular subject, be sure to include your degree in the resume along with your grades and year of graduation. For most recruiters, this is the first step in screening potential candidates for a job. It is therefore important to ensure that your resume shows that you have the qualifications needed to apply for the job.

Important Keywords

Most job posting offer a list of skills that an ideal candidate for the job would possess. This includes both soft skills and technical skills. Large companies often receive hundreds of applicants for any job position. Therefore, in the initial stages of screening, recruiters often skim through resumes to see if keywords from the job posting are present in the resume. For example, if a job posting lists that the candidate needs to be adept at Java but the word Java is absent from your resume, that might work against your favour. Ensure that you clearly list your skills and include keywords.

Consistency in Information

While it is important to mention keywords, it is also important not to embellish facts in a resume. If a recruiter comes across inconsistencies in your resume, you will likely be disqualified from the job. Inconsistencies may be in the form of embellished skill sets, unexplained gaps in study and work history, or lack of corroborative documents for achievements listed. While listing skills or achievements in a resume, ensure that you are able to support your claims during the interview process. 

Format of the Resume

While formatting your resume, it is important to maintain a clean, consistent and easy-to-read format. Some important factors to pay attention to are consistency in grammatical tense, using the same font for all the text, using first-person or third-person consistently, and ensuring that there are no spelling errors.

In addition to this, it helps to use simple and short sentences. Most recruiters prefer concise bullet points over long sentences as it allows them to spot achievements and qualifications at the first glance. These days, many applicants make use of fancy designs for the resumes. While this might be appealing to look at, the first concern must always be to ensure that the content is well organised, readable and conveys all the necessary information.

Academic and Work Experience

As is to be expected, recruiters look at your experience to determine if you are suited for the job. This helps recruiters understand the progression of your career and assess if your past roles and responsibilities match the requirements of the job. In the case of freshers, recruiters are likely to look at your performance in education and the initiatives taken up with extracurricular or volunteer activities.

While applying for a job, each candidate has a very short time to make a good impression. A resume presents a succinct image of you to the company. It is therefore important to pay attention to the finer details in order to gain an advantage over the competition. Rightly said:

“It’s attention to detail that makes the difference between average and stunning.” – Francis Atterbury

Team | MyOS