What recruiters look for in a resume?

As a recruiter, we act as the polarized lens filter for the hiring manager, human resources department and/or vendor management. If the recruiter has a strong relationship with the hiring manager, we can present resumes that fall a bit outside the box looking at the total package of the candidate, while taking into account the personality, team fit and added benefits that an individual brings to the table. As we distance ourselves further from the candidate resume to the hiring manager, the precise fit of the resume to the job description is increasingly important.

As an example, if a recruiter is presenting a candidate through vendor management, the candidate has a 4/50 success rate of making it through the first qualification gate. In my experience, in order for one to make it through this sieve you must have every mandatory skill, nice-to-have skill, specialized industry experience and be UNDER the stated price tag. If you are perfect but are over the rate, you are automatically REJECTED.

If you are a UI/UX designer for example, please ensure that any portfolio URL listed on the resume works properly and no “error 404” otherwise you will be immediately DISQUALIFIED.

Keeping in mind the above information, recruiters look for the following:

1. Keywords and skills in your technology summary and showing how you utilized this technology in your work experience.
2. Be clear on how many years of each technological skill that you used.
3. Have on your resume your cell phone number, LinkedIN URL, and email address so that we can contact you quickly as we often work within a 48 hour time limit to submit a candidate. Please be responsive to recruiters. Each minute counts and if you are not responsive and ignore us, you will be black-listed. AI (Artificial Intelligence) and recruiters love your cell phone number so ensure that you list this in your resume.
4. Your LinkedIN URL should be personalized with your first and last name such as: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darlasomerville/
5. Your LinkedIN profile should have an inviting, smiling professional picture of you.
6. Your resume and your LinkedIn profile should reflect the exact month-year start and end of each occupation, education and certification. Recruiters ensure the accuracy of both the resume and LinkedIn are exact otherwise there are too many red flags and we may not represent the candidate because of this. We ask ourselves, is the candidate lying? Is the candidate sloppy and inattentive to detail?
7. In my opinion, the ideal length of a resume should be 2-3 pages. Some of our customers will only accept a resume 3 pages or shorter otherwise the candidate is REJECTED.
8. Perfect spelling and grammar are important on the resume, however English many not be the first language of the candidates, so we have developed some lenience with our candidates on this regard. The recruiter will act as a second pair of eyes and make minor corrections on your behalf, always ensuring to consult you.
9. No gaps in the resume. If there are gaps, then this raises red flags. If there is a gap such as maternity leave, sailed around the world for a year, took a year off to retrain, study and write certification exams, masters, PhD, etc.…, please indicate these timeframes in the resume.
10. Being a “job hopper”. If you have multiple jobs listed, gaps in the resume, short job stints such as a plethora of 1-3 month contracts etc.… a recruiter is likely to REJECT your resume.
11. Indeed resumes. Allow me to provide a BIG hint. Indeed strips your name and your contact details from your resume, which makes it impossible for us to find you unless we pay $$$ for Indeed’s resume database. Please embed your LinkedIN URL into the body of the resume and we can message you quickly on LinkedIN instead of the passive method that Indeed has imposed on recruiters.

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6 thoughts on “What recruiters look for in a resume?

  1. Chitra Ramanathan on Reply

    Question – Would Indeed not strip the linkedin url from the resume? Does linkedin also not restrict the messages you can send unless you pay linkedin ?

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