What do Employers/Recruiters Want in a Resume?
Okay so imagine this scenario! You've started your career after your degree and have worked with a company for over a year now. You're ready for a job change because you feel you have stopped growing in your current position and have decided that a new job would be the best thing to advance further in your career.
So while sitting down and updating our resume, you start scratching your head thinking where to start as you haven't touched your resume for a year now. Neither does this resume showcase our accomplishments over the year. A Career Builder Survey in 2014 of over 2000 hiring managers reveals that on an average a recruiter scans a resume in 30 seconds or less. So the bitter truth here is that you have nearly a 30 seconds window to impress an employer.
Industry insiders say that while editing your resume or starting from scratch, think with the employer in mind. Confused about what an employer looks for in a resume? Here are the 5 things the employer will notice immediately when they read your resume:
5 Things Employers Notice in a Resume
1. Keyword Research
Hiring managers scan the resume as quickly as possible to look for the specific skills pertaining to the job profile. The more quickly they're able to find the keywords matching the job description, more likely are your chances to get shortlisted.
We recommend each time you apply for a job, update your resume accordingly. Carefully dissect the job posting, make a note of skills, knowledge, and experience that align with your profile. Pick the most-suited keywords out of the analysis and strategically place them throughout your resume. That also makes for an easy search for your resume by potential recruiters through online applicant tracking software.
2. Coherent Story
Relevance and coherence are extremely important in a resume as your resume is the first impression an employer gets of you and you can't afford to go wrong with that. Try to keep as straight line as possible between the jobs you have been in, your achievements, and the job you want. If you've changed jobs too often mid-stream, then consider leaving them out of the resume.
If you're working for a long time and it's your 5th or 6th job, you might have to consider dropping down the first job you took to maintain the length of the resume. If possible, try to show your career growth in your resume. In an ideal scenario, your resume should reflect upon your additional responsibilities and new challenges that you took with each job.
3. Embellished Skills
This is a fair truth and often misconceived that the employers don't expect the candidates to possess every skill. They carefully look for those resumes that genuinely reflect upon your abilities as a professional. The most common lie that employers often catch in a resume is over-exaggerated skills that don't justify the profile a candidate has been in.
As you write your resume, try not to get carried away and go overboard with the skills that you're unsure of or have little or no knowledge about. To avoid this big turnoff, try to commensurate your skills and accomplishment stories with each position you've held.
4. Comprehensive Career Progression
Every resume has a story to tell about the candidate and hiring managers love to scan such resumes. The story helps them form an opinion about you and our experiences to ascertain whether or not you are a good fit for the said profile. To achieve this, make sure your resume clearly denotes the key responsibilities you've handled in each job and how they've contributed to the growth in your overall career. Your job title is also an index of the kind of experience you've had over time.
5. Personal Brand & Online Presence
Hiring managers also look for potential employees over social media and other web platforms. They want to cross-check your personal web presence as well to ascertain the kind of person you are and your views on politics or society at large. Don't forget to add links to your social profiles on your resume like Twitter and LinkedIn. This makes it easier for an employer to learn about your professional voice over internet.
While this may seem a lot to put in your resume, remember that hiring managers digest all this information in less than 30 seconds and you'd certainly not want to screw up your chances. So always make sure to put these points that employers want in a resume and let your resume do all the talking!