When it comes to job hunting, your resume is often the first impression that a recruiter will have of you. In fact, many recruiters will spend only a few seconds looking at your resume before making a decision on whether to consider you further or not.
For some, resumes are nothing more than a recitation of work history. They will be looking at a document that was written to focus on a specific target job, or perhaps hide a problem. Resumes get longer and more complex as there is more experience to draw on, and at the same time their very structure varies to accommodate the twists and turns that happen in every person’s half-century-long work life.
Being on the side of the recruiter, the most important thing is on how a candidate presents themselves in their resume. Resumes with complicated design or format have the possibility of being rejected since recruiters tend to have their judgment on unnecessary formats and details.
For hiring managers, the first thing they are looking at is the last role the applicant took. Some of the essential things they are taking into account are if the applicants were laid off, fired, or worked for how many months/years.
For fresh graduates, some recruiters look at the applicant’s role in academic organizations or events that they deem fit for the position.
Here are Some Key Points to Keep in Mind:
- They start with a quick scan - Recruiters often start by quickly scanning your resume for key information, such as your name, current position, and relevant experience. They may also look for specific keywords related to the job requirements. This initial scan is meant to help them quickly determine if you are a potential fit for the role.
- They look for accomplishments - Once they’ve completed the initial scan, recruiters will typically look for specific accomplishments that demonstrate your skills and experience. They want to see concrete examples of how you’ve made a positive impact in your previous roles, and how that experience could be relevant to the new position.
- They notice job hoppers - Another thing that catches recruiters’ eyes is a list of too many jobs in too short a period, especially recent ones. This is not a thing a recruiter wants to see on a resume as it appears unpleasant to them. Job-hopping can show a candidate’s reluctant or even unsuccessful status in his/her career path. It tends to make recruiters doubt whether or not this person is moving forward towards a new role’s direction and whether or not the person they’re choosing will stick to the new company for a long time, not hop again.
- They are alert on work gaps - A candidate should also be aware that recruiters are also looking for those small mistakes or unexplained gaps in your resume. Normally recruiters do not mind gaps as long as there’s a sufficient explanation. It could be a period that a candidate took for a master’s degree, raise a child, or run their own business. On the other hand, the absence of an explanation will make recruiters doubt and the candidate will appear negatively suspicious.
- They check for relevant skills and experience - Recruiters will also look for specific skills and experience that are required for the job. This could include technical skills, industry-specific knowledge, or experience with certain tools or software. If you don’t have the required skills or experience, your resume may be quickly discarded.
- They pay attention to formatting and presentation - The way your resume is presented can also have an impact on how recruiters view it. A well-formatted and easy-to-read resume is more likely to catch their attention than one that is cluttered or difficult to navigate. This is why it’s important to make sure your resume is visually appealing and easy to read.
- They look for cultural fit - Finally, recruiters will also consider whether you would be a good fit for the company’s culture. This could include factors such as your communication style, work ethic, and personality. If they get the sense that you would be a good cultural fit, they may be more likely to consider you for the role.
Recruiters typically read resumes quickly, looking for key information, specific accomplishments, relevant skills and experience, a well-formatted and visually appealing presentation, and a potential cultural fit. By keeping these factors in mind when crafting your resume, you can increase your chances of catching the attention of recruiters and landing your dream job.
While writing your resume, remember that you are addressing a wider audience. Given that active sourcing being a key method of hiring, it is important to have people on your network wanting to read your resume. At the very least there are two desks the resume has to cross for a successful outcome – the headhunter and the hiring manager.