Recruiters Look for These 15 Things on Resumes

Are you tired of sending out countless resumes and hearing nothing back? It’s time to crack the code to resume success. Recruiters hold the key to your dream job, and understanding what they’re searching for can make all the difference. Discover the 15 crucial elements recruiters look for, and learn how to use each one to captivate their attention from the first glance. 

1. Contact Information

The contact information section is a vital component of a resume as it provides recruiters with the means to connect with you. It typically includes your full name, phone number, professional email address, and optionally, links to your LinkedIn profile or personal website. This section is crucial as it enables recruiters to easily reach out to schedule interviews or discuss job opportunities.

Ensure that your contact information is prominently displayed at the top of your resume, making it easily accessible. Use a professional email address and double-check the accuracy of your contact details to ensure recruiters can reach you without any hassle. Also, consider including links to professional networking profiles like LinkedIn, but only if they’re up-to-date and aligned with your job search.

2. Summary or Objective

The summary or objective section serves as a brief snapshot of your professional identity, highlighting your key skills, experiences, and career goals. This section is crucial for recruiters as it provides a concise overview of your suitability for the role. A well-crafted summary captures the recruiter’s attention and encourages them to delve deeper into your resume, emphasizing why you’re a strong candidate.

Tailor your summary or objective to the specific job you’re applying for, emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to the position. Keep it concise yet impactful, ideally limited to a few sentences summarizing your unique value proposition. Focus on showcasing how your skills align with the company’s needs and the job description, emphasizing what you can bring to the role. Avoid generic statements and instead, highlight your key achievements or standout qualities.

3. Work Experience

Work experience on a resume outlines your professional history. Recruiters consider this section crucial as it provides insights into your relevant skills, expertise, and career progression. It helps them gauge how well your past experiences align with the requirements of the role they’re hiring for.

List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent or current position. Include the job title, company name, employment dates, and a bulleted list of key responsibilities and achievements for each role. Quantify your accomplishments where possible by using numbers, percentages, or specific metrics. Tailor this section to emphasize experiences and achievements that directly relate to the job you’re applying for.

4. Education

The education section of a resume details your academic background, including degrees earned, educational institutions attended, and graduation dates. Recruiters consider this section important as it provides context regarding your foundational knowledge in your field or related areas.

List your education in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent degree or educational achievement. Include the degree earned, major or field of study, institution name, and any academic honors or distinctions. If you have limited work experience or are a recent graduate, emphasize academic projects, coursework, or relevant academic achievements that demonstrate your skills and knowledge applicable to the job you’re seeking. As you gain more professional experience, the emphasis on education may shift towards your work experience and relevant skills.

5. Skills

The skills section of a resume highlights your abilities, both technical and soft skills, that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Recruiters value this section as it quickly showcases whether you possess the specific skills required for the role.

Organize your skills into categories such as technical skills and soft skills. Tailor this section to match the job description, emphasizing the skills mentioned in the job posting. Use bullet points to make it easy for recruiters to scan. Ensure that the skills you include are backed up by your experiences elsewhere in your resume, such as in your work experience or achievements section. 

6. Achievements

The achievements section of a resume spotlights your significant accomplishments and successes throughout your career. Recruiters value this section as it provides concrete evidence of your capabilities and contributions in previous roles, showcasing your potential value to their organization.

Highlight specific accomplishments that demonstrate your impact and value in previous positions. Focus on quantifiable achievements whenever possible, such as meeting or exceeding targets, awards received, or successful project completions. Use action verbs and metrics to make your achievements stand out and showcase the results of your efforts. Tailor your achievements to align with the job you’re applying for, emphasizing those that directly relate to the position’s requirements or highlight transferable skills that would benefit the new role.

7. Quantifiable Results

The quantifiable results section on a resume emphasizes the measurable outcomes and achievements in your professional experiences. Recruiters highly value this section as it provides tangible evidence of your performance in previous roles.

Highlight achievements or contributions that can be quantified with specific numbers, percentages, or metrics. For instance, mention sales revenue generated, cost savings achieved, percentage improvements, project completion times, or any other measurable outcomes directly attributable to your work. Use strong action verbs and specific details to articulate your achievements. Quantifying your results not only adds credibility to your accomplishments but also helps recruiters understand the scale and significance of your contributions, making your resume more impactful.

8. Keywords and Customization

The keywords and customization aspect involves tailoring your resume with relevant keywords and specific details from the job description. Recruiters value this customization as it demonstrates your understanding of the job requirements and showcases how your experiences align with what they’re seeking.

Carefully analyze the job description for keywords, skills, and qualifications sought by the employer. Incorporate these keywords organically throughout your resume, especially in the summary, skills, and work experience sections. Ensure that the terminology you use mirrors that of the job posting, which not only helps your resume get past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) but also resonates with recruiters who are looking for a strong match. Customizing your resume for each application increases the chances of getting noticed by highlighting your fit for the specific role.

9. Relevance and Clarity

Relevance and clarity in a resume refer to the importance of presenting information directly related to the job and ensuring that it’s easily understandable. Recruiters value this because it allows them to quickly assess your qualifications and suitability for the position.

Focus on including only relevant information that directly aligns with the job you’re applying for. Tailor your resume by emphasizing experiences, skills, and achievements that are most applicable to the specific role. Use clear and concise language, avoid jargon or overly technical terms unless necessary, and structure your resume in a way that is easy to follow. Prioritize the most relevant details and organize them logically to guide recruiters through your qualifications effortlessly. This ensures that recruiters can quickly grasp why you’re a strong fit for the job.

10. Error Free

Error free refers to the absence of spelling, grammatical, or formatting mistakes in your resume. Recruiters highly value error-free resumes as they reflect attention to detail, professionalism, and a commitment to presenting yourself effectively.

Proofread your resume thoroughly to catch any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Use spell-check tools and consider seeking a second pair of eyes to review your document. Pay attention to formatting consistency, such as font styles, bullet points, and margins. Ensure all dates, names, and contact information are accurate. Additionally, consider using online grammar-checking tools or asking someone proficient in grammar to review your resume.

11. Professional Development

Professional development in a resume highlights your commitment to ongoing learning and skill enhancement. Recruiters value this section as it demonstrates your proactive approach to staying updated in your field and improving your expertise.

Include relevant professional development activities such as certifications, courses, workshops, or seminars that enhance your skills and knowledge related to the job. List these under a dedicated section or incorporate them into your education or skills sections. Specify the names of the courses or certifications, the issuing institutions or organizations, and completion dates. 

12. Clean Formatting

Clean formatting refers to the visual presentation and organization of your resume. Recruiters value this because it enhances readability, professionalism, and ensures a clear and organized presentation of your qualifications.

Use a clean and professional layout with clear section headers, consistent formatting (font style, size, and spacing), and bullet points for readability. Choose a standard font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman in a legible size (usually between 10 and 12 points). Use white space effectively to avoid overcrowding and make important details stand out. Employ bold or italics sparingly for emphasis. Prioritize a logical flow of information, with your most relevant and recent experiences listed first. Organize sections in a way that best showcases your qualifications for the job. A well-structured and visually appealing resume can capture recruiters’ attention and make it easier for them to extract key information.

13. Alignment with Company Values

Alignment with company values in a resume highlights how your beliefs, work ethic, and experiences resonate with the values and culture of the prospective employer. Recruiters value this as it signifies your potential fit within the company’s environment and mission.

Research the company’s values, mission statement, and culture through their website, social media, or company publications. Tailor your resume to include experiences, achievements, or personal attributes that align with these values. Highlight relevant volunteer work, projects, or professional experiences that demonstrate your commitment to similar principles or goals. Use your cover letter or objective statement to express your alignment with the company’s values and why you’re excited about contributing to their mission. This tailored approach shows recruiters that you’re not only qualified for the job but also share a compatible ethos with the company, potentially making you a strong cultural fit.

14. Industry-Specific Certifications

Industry-specific certifications refer to specialized credentials, licenses, or certifications directly relevant to your field or the job you’re pursuing. Recruiters highly value these certifications as they validate your expertise and proficiency in specific areas.

List industry-specific certifications prominently in your resume, typically under the education or skills section. Include the certification name, issuing organization, and the date of completion or expiration if relevant. Prioritize certifications that directly align with the job requirements or are highly regarded in your industry. Highlight any certifications that set you apart from other candidates or demonstrate a mastery of essential skills for the role. Emphasizing these certifications signals to recruiters that you possess the necessary qualifications and expertise, potentially giving you an advantage in the selection process.

15. Leadership and Teamwork

Leadership and teamwork are key competencies that demonstrate your ability to work collaboratively and lead effectively. Recruiters highly value these skills as they indicate your capacity to contribute positively within a team and potentially take on leadership roles.

Highlight instances where you’ve demonstrated leadership or teamwork skills in your previous roles. Describe experiences where you led a team, managed projects, or collaborated effectively with colleagues. Use specific examples in your work experience or achievements section to showcase how you’ve contributed to team successes or led initiatives. Emphasize soft skills like communication, conflict resolution, delegation, and motivation alongside leadership roles to illustrate your ability to work well with others. Tailor your examples to match the job requirements, showcasing experiences that align with the type of leadership or teamwork needed for the position. This demonstrates to recruiters that you possess the interpersonal and managerial skills crucial for success in the role.

Write a High Quality Resume

Understanding what recruiters seek on resumes can transform your job application success. With this comprehensive approach, your resume becomes a powerful tool, presenting you as an ideal candidate in the eyes of recruiters. With your new resume ready, our dedicated team is equipped to connect you with roles that align perfectly with your skills and aspirations. With our commitment to matching top talent with exceptional opportunities, we aim to propel your career to new heights. 

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