10 Things Recruiters Look for on a Resume

We asked some recruiter pals what they look for when they first come across a resume. Use these points to enhance your resume before you apply to your next job. If you want to get the interview, pay attention to what recruiters want to see.


Who are you? Tell me that information with a short phrase about yourself. It should be near the top of the resume just under your contact information. This is a good spot to replace the outdated ‘Objective’ on your resume. Give me a tagline about yourself like;

“Digital Marketing Executive” or “Senior Financial Analyst”

Most recent job and how long you’ve been there.

This is the biggest piece of information that tells me if you are a good skills fit for the job. This info tells me a lot about your motivation for change. For instance if I see that you’ve been in that role for a long period of time its same to assume you are probably bored and looking for a change. If you’ve been there less than a year its a sign you aren't happy.

Industries you’ve worked in.

If I’m hiring for a startup I give preference to those who have worked in that kind of environment before. Most recruiters will also seek out people who have experience in the industry they are recruiting for first over someone coming from a different field.

Career progression.

Have you bounced around a bunch of times doing the same or similar job? This is not as much of a red flag as it used to be especially if you are a younger worker. But if you've been working for 10+ years and you can't stay a company for more than a year or two it might be a sign to me that you get bored to easily or that you wear out your welcome pretty fast.

Custom resume.

Did you take the time to customize the resume to the job? Its always better to fit your resume into the job you're applying for. Use the same keywords as they do in the job description.

Employment gaps

It's ok to have them, just explain them. If you had to take time off to care for a relative or child just state that. If its a gap of less than 6 months don’t worry about that.

City and State.

I need to know what a town you live in so I can accurately gauge your commute time. If you are too far away (> 1 hour) from the office I probably won’t call you. There’s no need to put a street address but city/state is a must.


Did you just copy and paste your stuff onto some bland template? Is your spelling correct? I don't mind a typo, those things happen to the best of us. Just be sure you proofread it twice before sending.


I like creative looking resumes that don't look like the typical format. Maybe thats just me but a good resume is also a well designed resume. It might have some shading or a logo  or just generally look different from the rest in the pile. Give it some personality, we’re interested in stuff like that.  Colors and interesting fonts are also welcome as long as they are CLEARLY legible.


Please, please, please put your Linkedin URL, website or other online portfolio links on your resume. Make it easy for recruiters to see your work online. Your Linkedin is a must. We prefer to use a social resume. The more links you can add the less we have to google you :-)

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