One of the main questions we receive is what exactly recruiters and hiring managers look for in a resume. The goal of reviewing a resume is to determine who should be called for a phone screen or interview, so recruiters evaluate candidates to find out who closely matches the requirements for a role based on the content of their resume.
Work experience – A recruiter is going to look to see if you have enough and the right kind of experience that is required for the role. If a job requires 3 years of product management, and you have only a year of product management or 3 years of project management, chances are your resume will be passed over.
Technology/software/special skills – If a job requires certain technology, software or any special skills, a recruiter is going to look for those requirements on your resume. So don't forget to include that you "speak" PHP or Python (and we're not talking about Parseltongue), were a Salesforce administrator in your previous job, or have specialized knowledge in pediatrics.
Education – A recruiter is also going to look to see if you have the required education or certification required for the role. All of your education and certifications can be listed in the Education section of your resume.
Dates of employment – Looking at your dates of employment shows a recruiter two things: 1. That you have the years of experience required for the role and 2. Whether you commit to a company for an extended time or if you’re a job hopper, as well as if you have any noticeable employment gaps. Though, multiple jobs in a short period of time or a long break can be explained in the cover letter or early in the interview process.
Proof of success – Not only do recruiters look for your experience, but they also want to know that you were successful in previous jobs. If you’ve won awards, saved the company money, made the company money, increased website traffic, etc. include these on your resume to put you ahead of other candidates.
Overall, a recruiter looks at resumes to see who is the best fit for a given role based on the job description and requirements. To ensure a recruiter sees you as a great candidate to phone screen or call in for an interview, take a good look at the job description and make sure you include your accomplishments in your resume that are required.