Careers: Articles - Three Things Every Recruiter Looks for
in a Resume
If you are in the middle of a job search, recruiters can be either
your friend—or your foe. They make the choice to keep you
out of the hiring process or to introduce you to corporate hiring
decision makers. The quality of your resume is a key factor in determining
how recruiters will treat you in the job market.
There are three things every recruiter looks for in a resume:
If your resume lacks any of these crucial elements, then you are
probably not capturing the attention you deserve, and you are missing
out on important interview opportunities.
Since recruiters’ time is at a premium, they must know your
career focus within seconds of opening your resume. If your career
focus isn’t clearly stated, you can’t assume the reader
will take the time to search through your resume for clues. Most
recruiters consider “Career Objective” statements
worthless if they contain no real information about the specific
position you are looking for and the industry expertise you offer.
The best objective statements are concise and to the point.
- Core competencies or transferable skills
Once a recruiter understands your focus, he/she will want to know
if you have the required core competencies or transferable skills
to accomplish the job. A thorough research of employer job descriptions
will help you identify the core competencies your resume must
You’ll capture and hold recruiter attention by including
only those core competencies relating specifically to your focus.
Be careful not to muddy up your personal marketing message by
including extraneous skills. If you remember the all-important
rule of relevancy, you’ll go a long way toward keeping the
reader’s attention on your key skills.
Once your resume has made it through the initial screening for
focus and skills, the recruiter will want to know how you stack
up against other candidates. Remember, with record-high resume
response to job openings, recruiters need good, solid reasons
to recommend you for consideration over the mountain of other
candidates. Clear, concisely stated accomplishments are the best
way to distinguish yourself from your competition.
Whether the recruiter works for one corporation or represents
many corporate clients as a third-party recruiting consultant,
he or she must be able to give valid reasons for promoting you
as a viable candidate. You can make their job infinitely easier
by including the information they need—and bring your resume
to the top of the candidate pile. When your resume sells itself,
you gain advantage points, and make the recruiter look good as
For optimum impact, write accomplishments that illustrate the
strength of your core competencies, transferable skills and focus.
An accomplishment is only valuable to your resume if it promotes
the skills your target employers are looking for. Remember the
rule of relevancy as you craft each of your accomplishment statements.
In today’s extremely competitive job market, employers rely
heavily on recruiter to screen out the crowd of applicants. Allow
them to present you as one of their best candidates by letting your
resume present your best abilities.
Deborah Walker, CCMC
Resume Writer ~ Career Coach
To see resume format samples and read more job-search tips visit