What Recruiters and Employers Really Look for on a Resume

If you are looking for a new job or considering making a move soon, you might have given a thought or two to writing a resume. With the best jobs in Australia receiving hundreds of applications, and competition high, you want to make sure your resume stands out and gets noticed.

In this post, we’ll let you know what employers and recruiters alike are really looking for when they evaluate a CV and decide whether to say yes, no or maybe.


#1 Tailored Resumes and Cover Letters

Making an application for a job without any effort to write a cover letter or tailor your resume to highlight your relevant experience presents an obvious hurdle. It can make it challenging for a potential employer to see how your experience relates to their needs. If you know that you have been exposed to relevant scenarios, but fail to show this on your application clearly, you could be overlooked for a job that you would be ideally suited for.

Lesson – Always make sure you include a cover letter that quickly and succinctly demonstrates how your previous experience relates to the requirements listed in the outline of the job. It might only take 30 minutes, and it could help you stand out from others, and make it easier for them to say yes.


#2 Presentation

A resume should be 1-2 pages at most, it should be free from errors, formatted, easy to ready, and it should highlight the most important achievements of your career and experience to date. Attention to detail is something that matters to almost everyone in the business. If you haven’t taken the time to proofread your application and your resume, it paints a picture that is less than desirable. If you aren’t naturally great at things like this, you can always hire a proofreader or editor to review your text before its submitted.

Lesson – You don’t need to list each and every responsibility you have had, for every position you have held. Highlight your skills, list your achievements, and make sure you present it in a nice way. There are lots of free resume templates online; even MS Word has a few really nice templates on offer.


#3 Social Media Profiles

Is it true that employers search online for your social media profiles? Do they have the time? Do you need to have a business social media profile? Every recruiter and employer will have their own preferences; for some, checking out your social media is a ‘thing,’ for others, it’s not.

Lesson – Make sure your social media profiles are not going to immediately get you discounted for a job. If you are applying for a job in a niche industry, then you’ll need to make sure your online presence doesn’t reveal anything about you that might be considered undesirable. Change your social media privacy settings so that you are only showing a circle of friends your personal pictures and information. If you are applying for a job in sales or any other profession where networking is needed, then getting a LinkedIn or Telegram profile is a good idea.


#4 Order, Logic, and ‘Scan-ability’

Recruiters and employers alike don’t always have the luxury of time on their side. As such, they will scan your resume, and look for relevant job titles, achievements, skills, and keywords. If you want to progress to the next stage, then you need to make sure you grab their attention. You can do this by laying things out in a logical order, and by making it easy for the reader to find the key information they need, quickly.

Lesson – Use one type of font, use bullet points, and make sure it is in reverse chronological order, putting your most recent work position first. Address any inconsistencies, and make sure there are no employment gaps that go unexplained.


In Summary

These four points really summarise the key things employers and recruiters alike are looking for in a resume. The biggest takeaway is that you make it easy for them to see why you are suited to the role and that you take the time and effort needed to present a good-looking, concise summary of your achievements, skills, and experience to date.

Further Reading

 If you are looking for a job in Australia will little or no experience, then take a look at this blog to get advice on what you can include on a resume to prove your suitability for the role.


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