What do Recruiters Look for in a Resume?

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What do Recruiters Look for in a Resume? | Article by Ginny Morgan, Senior Recruiter and Tulsa staffing specialist | Trinity Employment Specialists

A resume is a document that succinctly presents a candidate’s skills, education and experience to a prospective employer. According to www.businessinsider.com this history dates back to 1482 when Leonardo Da Vinci wrote the first resume. Its original intent was a letter of introduction.  It is now used a primary source of recruiting prime candidates for businesses. A resume is the first impression of a potential employee a human resources recruiter will see, and it should leave them wanting more.

There should be no gaps in employment on a resume. I advise candidates to list whey there is a gap. Some reasons for lapses in employment may be taking care of a sick parent, staying at home with young children, obtaining a degree, or not being able to find suitable work. They should all be listed either on the resume or noted on the cover letter. Peter Newfield, President of www.Career-Resumes.com addresses this issue in his on-line article ‘How to Address Gaps in Employment History’. He suggests a functional resume is the best resume format for someone with breaks in employment.

A resume should reflect accurate data. The contact information section must always be keep up-to-date. Occasionally, I will have a great resume from an applicant who has just the experience I am looking for to fill a position. Unfortunately, when I attempt to contact the candidate I am left disappointed because the phone number has been disconnected or the email address is invalid. This is a lose-lose situation. I am frustrated because I cannot reach a strong contender for a job order, the employer loses out on a potential great employee, and the candidate misses an opportunity for full-time employment.

A good resume should also be clear, concise and relevant to the position. In an on-line article on www.resumeright.com the author states one of the top blunders candidates make is they do not tailor the resume to the role they are applying for and it does not contain relevant information (see article). A resume should spotlight the applicant’s skills and present them in a brief and clear method. Bullet points are the best way to achieve a clean and succinct look. A resume should never be longer than two pages and only needs to list the last 10 years of employment.

Recruiters can tell a lot about an applicant by looking at their resume. Resumes not only offer a view of a candidate’s history and experience but also their personality and organizational skills. It can expertly articulate a person’s knowledge and skill level with in a certain field. Or, it can leave a hiring manager scratching their head wondering what the applicant is really wanting out of their next job. Recruiters are hungry for good candidates and are always searching for exceptional resumes. Eliminate the lapses in employment, make sure all information is relayed accurately and keep it clear and to the point, and always leave a good impression on paper. It will leave them wanting more.