What Employers Look For in a Resume (20+ Things)

The first thing that employers look for when searching for potential candidates is a well-written resume. That is why you, as a job seeker, need to ensure that your document speaks volumes about you and your skills.

But then again, what would capture the attention of the recruiters and hiring managers? What would help you get on the top of their list?

According to professionals, here are the things employers look for in a resume:

Matthew Warzel, CPRW

Matthew Warzel

President, MJW Careers, LLC

The résumé needs to be logical first and foremost. If the reader is crinkling their forehead, you’ve lost the initial battle.

Ensure it has optimized keywords, quantifiable content, and well-formatted

Ensure it has optimized keywords, quantifiable content (even if there are no metrics, but metrics are preferred), and a format/layout that attaches to applicant tracking system mandates.

Think about quantifiable content and write it pragmatically. Also, stick to brevity while making those bottom-line achievements shine.

Again, you’ve done your job as long as you aren’t wrinkling the readers’ foreheads when they’re reviewing your résumé. Now, if you fit the qualifications, it’s interview time!

Ensure you set the tone with what you want and what you offer

The key to standing out in the match is to guarantee you set the tone in the first top half of the résumé with what you want and what you offer.

Any key buzzwords that speak to your abilities to transition into those new positions seamlessly, and any transferable skills and achievements that instantly relate to this new role.

Do not write your experience as task-based

Do not write your experience as task-based, but rather quantifiable and bottom-line driven.

This will make sure you are letting the employers know that you are concerned with what they are concerned with ⁠— either making them money or saving them money.

Identify your relevance in terms of value to a prospective employer

My best advice for candidates dealing with career shifts is to identify their relevance in terms of value to a prospective employer.

Internalize what their passions are and some transferable skills and accomplishments to relay to hiring managers, a solid résumé, some email communication templates (or cover letter), and a lot of patience and willpower.

A good rule of thumb for the early career job hunter seeking a new role in a new industry is identifying your transferable skills and portraying those first on your LinkedIn profile and résumé.

Have a solid summary upfront mentioning your ability to transfer seamlessly into the new role based on your previous experience and education.

Make sure to incorporate key buzzwords/skills that you offer

Make sure to incorporate key buzzwords/skills that you offer and that the new role will mandate. Utilize some accomplishments after your skills and summary sections (maybe around 4-7 sentences), including any courses you’ve taken that transfer over to the new role.

For instance, a teacher trying to transfer into corporate/marketing may be able to discuss training, performance reviews, and documentation handling.

Maybe some sentences communicate their ability to handle branding and advertising from some tasks they completed in school. Try to keep it applicable, though, without too much fluff.

The hiring manager and recruiters are sharp and can see through a lot of the fluff. If I read a résumé, I am concerned about the candidate’s credentials, qualifications, and work history.

Your summary should be 3-5 sentences (written in one paragraph)

Since the summary is the first section a hiring manager sees, you want it to make the most positive impression possible. This is a significant part of your messaging! WOW them!

I have a few comments that will help you make yours even better. The summary should be 3-5 sentences (written in one paragraph) that capture the best of what you have to offer an employer.

Consider it your “elevator pitch,” or what you would say if you had 30 seconds to sell yourself for a job.

Here’s how I would break it down:

  • Sentence 1 (Who you are): Overview statement including years of experience and career focus.
  • Sentence 2-3 (What you can achieve): Results you can accomplish for a company.
  • Sentence 4-5 (How you can achieve it): Your unique skill sets or areas of expertise.

Make sure you follow the rules of a tightly written résumé

Make sure you follow the rules of a tightly written, well summarized; brevity is a key résumé with quantifiers and strong action verbs. It’s essential to stand out amongst the ocean of competition.

Related: How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Next, you will need a new résumé packed with qualifications proving you as a competitive candidate.

Think of a layout including a:

  • summary
  • key skills/buzzwords
  • contributions
  • experience section
  • education/certifications
  • affiliation/volunteerism

Ensure that the experience section demonstrates your value

Ensure that the experience section establishes your value in terms of the bottom line. Show the hiring manager you care about their company’s money. If you need to, use transferable skills!

What are transferable skills, and how important are they when writing a career change résumé? Think of these skills in terms of what you are currently doing at your job related to what you would be doing in the new role.

Key proficiencies can help the hiring manager see your ability to slide into the role with minimal training.

It’s essential to have these skills displayed on your résumé to demonstrate your fit into the new role, showcase your keywords, so the hiring team discovers you in their respective applicant tracking systems, and help win over the readers to receive that interview request you’re hoping for initially.

I think the résumé’s format is unique to each candidate’s background, but I do see a majority of career changers utilizing a combinational résumé over the other two types.

This allows the writer to position your skills, qualifications, credentials, and PAR (problem-action-result) impact statements for the experience section more competitively than a traditional résumé format.

PAR allows for a bottom-line-driven, quantifiable statement, even if it does not have a metric (saved time, reduced waste, drove profitability, streamlined efficiency, etc.)

Stick to the traditional format

It draws eyeballs to the important transferable items first. I stick to the traditional format when the client has a solid work history. A shaky work history usually means a functional résumé format to help offset some red flags.

I stick to a professional format because it draws attention to the content, remains professional for hiring managers, and works. Most importantly, it prevents you and your information from getting jumbled in an ATS and deemed not readable.

Here is the proper layout (in order) in case you want to shift things around some:

  • Contact information (name, email, phone, city/state)
  • Summary
  • Key skills/technical aptitude
  • Accomplishments
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Certification
  • Affiliation
  • Volunteerism

Add a little color without overdoing it

You may add a little color without overdoing it, and résumé writers use this as a great technique (dark gray, gray, or dark blue are always acceptable).

The reason for this suggestion is the use of color draws the readers’ eye to the color. Research shows reviewers typically only spend a few seconds looking at a résumé, particularly at an initial glance.

When I first look at the document, it draws my eyes to the margins, but there’s no content there. Instead, I’d rather the reader immediately be drawn to the key content you want to highlight.

Sarah Doody

Sarah Doody

Founder & CEO, Career Strategy Lab™

Exact skills, examples, results, and experience related to the candidate

Most people’s résumés don’t effectively communicate the details of their skills and experience and read like an overly SEO-optimized web page, full of industry jargon and buzz words.

If you want your résumé to stand out to prospective employers, you must ensure it quickly and clearly, highlights your strengths and areas of expertise.

To achieve this, you need to reframe how you think about employers when creating your résumé.

In your job search, you need to think like a lawyer. And, you consider the people involved in hiring (e.g., HR people, hiring managers, people who interview you) are like members of a jury.

As a lawyer, it’s your job to convince the jury that, in this case, you are the right person for the job.

In trials, the best lawyers come equipped with undeniable evidence and deliver that evidence in a way that connects with the jury.

Your résumé is like a critical dossier of evidence in your job search. You need to treat everything on your résumé as pieces of evidence to prove to and build confidence with employers that you are the best person for the job.

Follow these three tips to ensure the content of your résumé is rooted in evidence and does everything possible to position you as the most qualified candidate:

Tip 1: Pair skills with examples and context

For the bullet points in your job history, avoid the mistake of bullet points that are too vague.

For example, “Helped with search engine optimization and our email marketing strategies” tells an employer what you did at a surface level.

Re-writing the bullet point with examples and context tells a more compelling and evidence-based story:

“Lead the development and execution of an SEO strategy, resulting in a 50% increase in organic search traffic.

Researched and created our keyword strategy and oversaw a 4-month redesign of our design and content teams’ blog and e-commerce product detail pages.”

Tip 2: Results speak louder than responsibilities

Only listing responsibilities will result in a résumé that sounds like a job description. To stand out, when possible, quantify what you did to demonstrate how awesome you were at executing your responsibilities.

Instead of “I was responsible for the sales process, from sourcing prospects to closing deals.”

You could write:

“As the top salesperson in 2021, I brought in 500 new prospects and had a close rate of 60%. My deals totaled $2,600,000, represented 25% of the 10-person sales team’s revenue.”

Tip 3: Tailor the evidence to the job you’re applying for

Using the same résumé for every job you apply to can hinder your chance to stand out.

When you consider how lawyers present evidence, they constantly reframe and tailor how they talk about evidence as a trial evolves. The same strategy applies to your résumé.

To help employers see the exact skills, examples, results, and experience related to the candidate they are looking for, you must tailor your résumé.

Specifically, you could re-order bullet points in your job history, so the most important ones are first, slightly re-write bullet points to use language in the job description.

Add more relevant bullet points or remove ones that might not relate to the role and others.

Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA

Kirk Hazlett

Adjunct Professor of Communication, University of Tampa

Getting the attention of a hiring manager is a challenge. More often than not, they are reviewing dozens, if not hundreds, of applications for a position.

If you want to make the cut, your résumé has to clarify why you are the perfect fit.

As a former hiring manager and now as a college professor coaching future generations of professionals, there are specific things that I look for to determine your qualifications for the position:

Work experience

Do you know what it’s actually like in the workplace? Can you handle the (sometimes) not-so-comfortable interactions with co-workers and bosses?

Can you “roll with the punches,” dropping one “must-do” assignment to deal with an unexpected challenge?

Especially if you’re a recent or soon-to-be college graduate, the work environment is different from what you’ve experienced over the past four-ish years.

There are no “study guides” to help you handle day-to-day activities. You’re on your own most of the time.

Although it’s no longer on my own résumé, I often make sure to mention that my very first job while in high school was as a “bagboy” for my local grocery store.

I was very good at fast bagging of groceries, but I also made sure that each customer realized that we all appreciated their business.

Although I didn’t actually connect the dots until many years later, the end result was that I was given broader responsibilities, including supervising others.

Relevant work experience

Have you ever done any of the things that I want you to be able to do in this position? Yes, I know this is an “entry-level” position, but have you taken courses or done it as part of an internship or job?

What do I expect you to be able to do? Read the job description carefully and make it clear in the descriptions of the various jobs/internships that you have had that you have that experience.

An example that I often use when counseling students who are interested in getting into the public relations profession is that of being a waitperson in a restaurant.

As I say time and again:

  • “You didn’t “wait on customers”; you assisted customers with their decision-making regarding meal choice; “problem-solving.”
  • “You didn’t “provide prompt service”; you ensured that each and every customer had a positive experience; “attention to detail.”

“Stick-to-it-iveness”

Will you stay with us long enough to make my efforts in recruiting you and then introducing you to your new job worth it?

Granted, you probably have held several part-time jobs throughout your high school and college life. And that is completely understandable.

But I’m going to be impressed if you have held a part-time job (restaurant waitstaff, department store clerk, whatever) for more than six months. Relative longevity in a position is impressive!

Curiosity

Show me that you’re interested in various things and that you want to understand the rationale that lies behind a decision. In today’s world, “same-ol’/same-ol'” doesn’t cut it.

My business (whatever it might be) needs innovative thinking, which comes from curiosity. As part of a class assignment, if you conducted a research project and developed a program proposal from the information you gathered, tell me about it!

Asking “Why?” is not a bad thing! Make this clear in your descriptions of your accomplishments.

A clear and compelling case for your qualifications

The bottom line is that you are “selling” an unknown product (yourself) to a prospective customer. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you have to make a clear and compelling case for your qualifications.

Read the job description carefully. Look for “keywords” that indicate what’s most important for that particular position and the organization itself, and tailor the wording of your résumé to meet those needs.

And you thought “Creative Writing” was a slough course!

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Senior Editor, Tandem

If there are typos or mistakes on a person’s résumé

As an editor, one of the first things I notice is if there are typos or mistakes on a person’s résumé.

If it appears that an applicant didn’t take the necessary time to create an impressive résumé, it would concern me that this person might not be diligent in their work.

Take the time needed to review your résumé and ensure that there are no blatant typos.

Specific education

Depending on the position, some require a specific education while others do not. For example, if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, you need to have higher education.

Education might not be as necessary for other positions, but this still can indicate skills that an applicant has obtained, though in a school setting as opposed to real-world experience.

Past work experience

Even if your experience does not directly correlate to the position you are applying for, it’s still important to include past work experience on your résumé.

Having job experience lets potential employers know how long you have stayed in previous positions, indicating what they can expect from you.

Skill level

Illustrating your skill level is essential to potential employers. What happens if the company uses Google Docs for their communications, but you only have experience using Microsoft products?

They will want to know that you can learn how to use their tools. Showing a vast amount of experience using many different tools will help them understand how easily you might be able to adapt to something new.

The overall flow and look of a person’s résumé

The overall flow and look of a person’s résumé also help illustrate how a person might work.

  • Is the résumé in an order that makes sense?
  • Does it read easily?
  • Is it formatted consistently throughout?

It might be challenging to understand their work if it’s hard to read a person’s résumé. Your résumé needs to make sense to someone that doesn’t know you.

Remember: First impressions are lasting impressions. Make sure that however you choose to create your résumé, the impression your résumé leaves is a good one.

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Former Executive Recruiter | Founder, CareerSidekick

Evidence you can step into this job and be successful

When you apply for a position, the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager thinks is, “Does this person have the skills and experience needed to step into this role and be successful?”

They’re comparing your résumé to the job description, essentially.

This is why it’s critical to review the job posting before applying for a job and ensure that your résumé highlights your ability to perform well in the job you’re pursuing.

Consider adding content, reordering content, and removing irrelevant content to show that your skills are well-suited to the specific role you want.

Past successes, accomplishments, and results

Employers notice your résumé work history section, especially the bullets within that section, very quickly.

One great way to make this section of your résumé stand out is to include specific results you’ve achieved for previous employers.

Employers always notice and appreciate metrics and data on a résumé, yet most job seekers include none or very little.

Specific skills and keywords

Employers will glance at your résumé looking for mentions of key skills and keywords from the job description.

If a role is heavily involved in customer support, they’re looking through your employment history to see which of your past roles involved customer interaction or customer support.

The more, the better.

Writing an effective résumé is all about showing relevancy.

You can also include these skills and keywords in a dedicated “Skills” section, but employers always want to see when and where you used these skills, so always include important skills in your work history section.

Career progression

Next, employers will look at:

  • the job titles
  • dates of employment
  • general career progression

Be sure to show any promotions you’ve received from past companies. Do your best to ensure your résumé tells your career story and shows upward progression.

Related: How to Tell a Story With Your Resume

This isn’t always possible, but do the best you can because employers look at all of your previous job titles, from the bottom of the page upward, to understand your career story and path.

Jennifer Hartman

Jennifer Hartman

Staff Writer | HR Specialist, Fit Small Business

An effective résumé catches the employer’s eye and shows your skills and qualifications. Employers will be looking for the following details found within a resume.

Personal contact details

Include your name and either your phone number or email address so the employer has a way to contact you should they decide they would like to interview you for a position. While not necessary, a picture can be added to your résumé.

Schools you have attended and degrees you have received

List any schools you have attended and degrees you have received, and be sure to include any certifications along with the expiration date.

This helps employers know that you have the education requirements to be successful in the position.

Highlights of the skills you have obtained

Provide a section in your résumé that highlights the skills you have obtained during your employment history. This can be anything from technological skills to job-specific skills.

The key is to highlight them on your résumé, so potential employers know what you bring to the table. This also helps when employers use AI technology to scan résumés for specific skills or keywords.

Relevant job history

Be sure to include relevant job history on your résumé. It is best to keep it to 3 or 4 past employment positions that closely match the job you are applying for.

It is not necessary to list every job you have had since you began working–a job at a retail store may not be relevant if you are applying for a Software Engineer position.

Your résumé should reflect your work history and skills, and it is recommended that you not include things like hobbies on your résumé.

However, a summary that highlights your work attributes is recommended.

There are several pieces of information that recruiters, hiring managers, and/or career coaches look for on résumés (noted in order of appearance on the résumé):

Point of contact information

Name, city, state, zip, phone number, and email (you would not believe the number of job seekers who don’t add an email)

A list of generic types of work

A list of generic types of work and the number of years they have been in that general type of job.

For instance, instead of saying: “5 years, Tier One Ticket Analyst” you want a broader description “5 years, System Administrator.”

A good example would be (using general types of job titles versus more specific job titles (e.g., XYZ software app developer):

Experience Summary

  • Five years, Team Lead, Software Engineering
  • Four years, Senior Software Engineering
  • Three years, Director / Senior Manager, Technical Product Architecture
  • Three years, Manager, Software Engineering
  • Three years, Software Developer

Dates of employment, job title, company, city, state

Underneath this sub-header, you want a set of bullets that “objectively” describe what the job seeker physically did (e.g., Tracked trouble tickets, Managed X subordinates, Supervised ten Hot Dog cookers, etc.), of which all objective descriptions can be documented and proven.

You do not want subjective terms (e.g., I brilliantly did something, I “assisted” someone, I magnificently completed this task and was given verbal kudos), which are opinions and not documentable.

Formal education

College courses, degrees, and/or high school diplomas (no date on this one).

Training and certifications

Listed with the date of completion, the full name of the certification, the organization that did the training, city, and state. Also, it is essential to include the languages, awards, recognition, and/or volunteer work.

Related: How to Include Language Skills (Proficiency) on Your Resume

Sanya Nagpal

Sanya Nagpal

Head of Human Resources, Leena AI

A candidate’s uniqueness in a résumé

The important thing is to make your résumé stand out. Recruiters often keep an eye out for uniqueness in a résumé.

Make sure your résumé is visually appealing

Firstly, make sure your résumé is visually appealing. Use soothing color tones that are pleasing to the eye of the viewer, but it also does not hurt to put some color to it.

Personalize your résumé as per the job description

Secondly, personalize your résumé as per the job description. Try to match keywords so that your résumé is the right fit for the role. Focus on your achievements, both professional and personal, and not just duties and responsibilities.

Try to keep it concise

Thirdly, recruiters want to know and understand you through your résumé. Ideally, a résumé should not be more than two pages. Try to keep it concise.

Proofread your résumé to make it grammatically correct

Lastly, proofread your résumé to make it grammatically correct. Ensure there are no errors or mistakes in the résumé before applying for a job.

Have different résumés that highlight multiple aspects of your skills

Apart from these, try to ensure that you have different résumés that highlight multiple aspects of your skills.

If you are a content writer with experience in graphic designing and SEO, make three separate résumés highlighting each aspect of your career.

This helps you segregate and apply for a broader spectrum of job roles at various companies. Try not to put everything in one résumé because it might seem off-putting and crowded for an HR professional or hiring manager to evaluate you.

Claire Sofield

Claire Sofield

Managing Director | Co-Founder, Four Recruitment

All of your experience

Employers will, of course, be looking for all of your experience, so start with your current role and work backward.

Under each heading, include the sector and size of the business and mention any other elements such as overseas or unionized business. List any achievements such as leading on projects or quantifiable statistics.

Make sure you tailor this to the specific role you are applying for to highlight what makes you a good fit for the company.

Be sure to explain any career gaps, e.g., time to travel, raise a family, etc. If you’ve moved around roles within the same business, explain why, such as promotion, relocation, or a fixed-term contract.

If you’re new to the job market and have no experience, outline any transferable skills or work experience you’ve gained so far.

Again, tailor this to the job role — there are a lot of soft skills needed across all sectors that you can showcase.

Education and qualifications

You should list your qualifications in chronological order. Again, start with the most recent first and include the most detail about this, e.g., any university/college qualifications should list the name of the university/college, dates attended, and qualifications gained.

What you’re like as a person

This is especially important for those working in retail, hospitality, or any other people-focused industries.

Including a section about your hobbies and interests can be very advantageous to demonstrate your personality and character.

Related: How to List Personal Interests and Hobbies on Your Resume

This could be anything from running a marathon to volunteering or joining a support group. This can offer additional background information about what you could bring to the role.

Anna Berkolec

Anna Berkolec

HR Manager, ResumeLab

Number of years of relevant experience, technical skills, and achievements

Most often, employers look for three things on résumés.

  1. The number of years of relevant experience
  2. Technical skills you’ve developed
  3. Achievements prove that you’re willing to go above and beyond the call of duty

Considering the (in)famous recruitment rule that résumés, on average, get looked at for 7 seconds, it is essential to highlight your strongest suits quickly and effectively.

Have a robust summary section

One way to do that is by having a robust summary section and a stellar skills section.

Why?

Well, because the former is the first thing on your résumé, while the latter is most easily noticeable. The summary section is the 2-4 sentence elevator pitch where you should quickly list your best accomplishments and big career wins.

Here is also where you include how many years of experience you possess and what you’re looking for. Effectively a teaser trailer meant to intrigue the employers to read on.

Skills section-wise, aim to include between 5-8 of your most vital and relevant. Be ready to back each and every one of them with real-life examples if it comes up in an interview.

Tony Rens

Tony Rens

HR Manager, Motor Spider

The layout of the résumé

When I was recruiting new students for the Assistant Psychologist post, the first thing the team and I looked at was the layout of the résumé. The résumés with a lousy layout were immediately placed at the bottom of the pile.

A recruiter will undoubtedly focus more on the technical and educational stuff, but they’ll still notice the overall layout of the résumé. Use proper grammar, Error-free spellings, and whether the layout is a modern or traditional pattern are followed.

Most recruiters are interested in past experience

Secondly, this varies according to the job description, but most recruiters are interested in Past Experience: A recruiter will notice the past companies you’ve worked with.

Company recognition reveals a lot about candidates, like their skills and abilities. If you’ve worked for a huge company, your résumé can have more impact than others.

They also notice your:

  • job titles
  • responsibilities
  • achievements
  • date of employment
  • company name

Keep it as visible as possible and easy to locate on your résumé.

The use of keywords

Third and lastly, make the recruiter’s life easy, and he’ll benefit you. I have noticed in my experience that people undermine the use of keywords. The keywords used in the résumé help the recruiter find specific things quickly.

Candidates can make it easy for recruiters by creatively demonstrating important content. Like they can use stars/bars to show their fluency of languages or have a chart to present their overall academic or professional experience and excellence.

Akhila Nagabandi

Akhila Nagabandi

Head of HR, Pearl Lemon

So, while looking for contact information, employees first look at various things in the résumé. If a student is responding to applicants, they may need to conduct videos such as email, phone number, or anything else to read him out because there are four most vital.

Talents and experience

The talents and experience are sought by the next employer. Let’s pretend I’m looking for a designer, a UX or UI designer.

I’ll look to see if the candidate, in this example, has any expertise with WordPress or anything related to developing roles, and if he does lead for the role, I’ll look at his experience and skills. That is the most important thing to look at in a résumé.

References

Next, what does it generally imply thus far, and if there is any reference, is it some type of manager or clinical experience role? We will undoubtedly seek referrals. It might be two or three, but two would be the most enjoyable.

Related: How Many References Should You Have On a Resume (With 40+ Tips)

Basic abilities and contact information

So these are the major characteristics we look for in a candidate, such as basic abilities and contact information.

Also, just in case of any social media profiles, let’s say LinkedIn because you’ll be able to find all of their experiences and the goals which you’d like to achieve.

Today’s businesses actively seek out any recommendations for his profile. So he’s only here to assist us in figuring out if he’ll be a good match for the part.

So, as males, please let me know if you have any questions. We also looked at the proper structure, which is to say, first, he explained his educational qualifications, then his experience.

The skills that are handled in depth are next, and they must be completed one by one. So we’ve been waiting two years for a defined structure and a clear record of this event.

Samuel DeCroes

Samuel DeCroes

President, Stock Trend Alerts

Teamwork abilities

This, in my opinion, is an excellent ability to emphasize when applying for employment and one that recruiters would indeed search for on your résumé.

Teamwork skills are a crucial tool for any employee who works in an organization or with other people regularly. Regardless of your job title or industry, many companies look for teamwork abilities when interviewing candidates for open positions.

Related: 30+ Real Life Examples of Teamwork

Some examples of teamwork abilities to highlight:

  • Collaboration
  • Honesty
  • Communication
  • Responsibility

Interpersonal abilities

This, in my opinion, is another excellent ability to emphasize when applying for employment and one that recruiters would surely search for on your resume.

Interpersonal skills enable you to engage and collaborate effectively with others. Even if you aren’t working directly with clients, you will undoubtedly be working with colleagues and managers.

Thus interpersonal skills are essential. These abilities allow you to form relationships, communicate successfully, and manage problems appropriately.

Employers search for interpersonal qualities such as:

  • Motivation
  • Flexibility
  • Empathy

Stine Jorgensen

Stine Jorgensen

Director HR, HeatXperts

Educational background and the technical skills

When recruiters go through a candidate’s resume, we always focus on the relevant work experience if the job is for a higher level.

In case the role is for an entry-level position, we focus on their educational background and the technical skills they have included.

Leadership skills and experience

Moreover, leadership skills and experience are extremely important since they demonstrate how well the candidate can lead a team or a project.

However, just having the content on your resume would not make it stand out if your structure is confusing and misleading.

Therefore, having a structured resume with different sections with headings for education, work experience, leadership experience, awards, and technical skills is extremely important.

Moreover, when submitting a resume, you should ensure that it looks professional and has no grammatical errors.

Having a properly structured and well-written resume shows that the candidate is willing to put in effort for the role and that they pay attention to detail.

Tracy Acker

Tracy Acker

CEO and Recruiter, GetPaydayLoan

There are some skills employers look for in the employees they seek to hire. In their advertisements, they need some specific skills and requirements.

Employers look for keywords

Most employers use a computer system to look for keywords that they expect in candidates’ resumes. They do a keyword search. It searches for the keywords that they require in the resume.

Employers check if the candidate has the required skills

Secondly, they check the skills part of the CV to see if the candidate has the required skills. Employers also look for overall career development.

They need to see progress from when the candidate got the first job to the present day, what the candidate has gained, and the candidate’s consistency in the previous employment places.

Employers look for the personal brand

Employers also look for the personal brand in the candidates. They want to see what skills the candidate has perfected and can do with the skills.

The organization of the resume also reflects the personal organization of the candidate. When the resume is well organized, the employer might be more interested in it.

Previously held roles, general experience, and candidate achievements

Employers will also be interested in the candidate’s education. The academic qualifications have to match what the employer had advertised. The employer also looks for previously held roles, general experience, and candidate achievements.

Christa Reed

Christa Reed

Head of Job Market Research, JobSearcher

Being eligible

This means you are legally ready to work at the company you’re applying for.

Since your location is not an issue anymore, you probably apply for jobs worldwide, but not all work authorizations will allow you to join the company in the US if, let’s say, you are from Spain.

If there are two similarly qualified candidates, but one needs a sponsorship, they will likely choose the candidate that doesn’t.

Having relevant experiences

It is essential to have relevant knowledge about the tasks you will be doing. This can mean having experience with specific apps and software the new company uses or simply being trackable about doing the job well at your previous employers.

E.g., Include dollar values of troubleshooting you’ve done that show your contributions to the employer.

Scannability

It’s not just about having a great list of experiences in your résumé but presenting them in a quickly readable way. And to do that, you need to optimize it with the best keywords, almost like an SEO specialist.

Add these keywords, combine them with all the important information and make it easy to find. You have about 6 to 10 seconds to convince your future employer that your experiences resonate with the requirements.

Hannah Dworkin

Hannah Dworkin

Recruiter | Leader, USScrapYard

When I am looking at résumés, there are three things I usually go over.

How the résumé itself is presented

I first usually consider how the résumé itself is presented, and I always lean towards a well-organized, neat, and consistent one. A résumé is the first impression for an employer, and the candidate applying for the job must know that.

So taking the time to create a well-presented résumé definitely says a lot about their identity.

The progress that candidates made in their career

Second, I go over the progress that they’ve made in their career. I look for the time they’ve stayed working at a particular place, and their responsibilities, and check if there is any progress in their careers.

When someone is moving forward and takes higher positions as time goes by, they’d definitely be considered by me as a recruiter.

What soft skills they have listed

Finally, I always check what soft skills they have listed in the résumé. I consider the mentioned skills as complementary to their work experience.

And if I do the candidate, I would take them up for their word regarding those interview skills. So if someone mentions punctuality yet manages to arrive late for the interview, that would be a red flag for me.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Mistakes Should I Avoid When Creating My Resume?

Avoiding common mistakes will help ensure that your resume gets noticed by employers. Here are some mistakes you should avoid:

Spelling and grammatical errors: Spelling and grammatical errors can make your resume appear unprofessional. Make sure your resume is free of spelling and grammatical errors.

Lack of clarity: Make your resume clear and concise. Avoid jargon or technical terms that aren’t commonly understood.

Too much information: Your resume should focus on the job you’re applying for. Avoid including irrelevant information that has nothing to do with the job.

Inconsistent formatting: Make sure your resume is consistently formatted throughout. Consistent formatting can make your resume easier to read and understand.

Missing contact information: Ensure your contact information is included on your resume. This can help employers contact you for an interview.

Remember that your resume is often the first impression employers have of you. Taking the time to craft a high-quality resume can help you stand out from your competition and increase your chances of getting an interview.

Should I Include a Cover Letter With My Resume?

Yes, a cover letter on your resume can help you stand out from the competition and show your interest in the position. Here are some tips on how to write an effective cover letter:

Research the company: Research the company to understand its culture and values. Use this information to personalize your cover letter and show your enthusiasm for the job.

Use a professional tone: Use a professional tone when writing your cover letter. Avoid slang or informal language.

Highlight your qualifications: In your cover letter, highlight your key qualifications and show how they match the job requirements. However, avoid repeating information from your resume.

Tailor your cover letter: Customize your cover letter for your applying job. Use the job description to highlight the key skills and attributes the employer is looking for.

Keep it short and sweet: Keep your cover letter concise and to the point. Avoid writing a long letter that might bore the employer.

What Is the Best Way to Proofread My Resume?

Proofreading your resume is important to ensure it contains no errors and reads well. Here are some tips on how to proofread your resume:

• Read your resume aloud to catch any errors you might miss while reading it silently.
• Use spell check to catch spelling errors.
• Ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume. A fresh set of eyes can catch errors that you may have missed.
• Check for consistency in formatting, font, and spacing on your resume are consistent.
• Take a break and come back to your resume later. This can help you view your resume from a new perspective and spot errors you may have missed.

By carefully proofreading your resume, you can ensure that it’s error-free and professional, increasing your chances of getting an interview.

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