What Recruiters Look for in a Resume
If you are just beginning your career, you may have recently had a professor or advisor help you with your resume. If you already have years of service under your belt, it has probably been a while since you edited or received feedback on your resume. In either of these situations, you may not have ever had a professional recruiter give you tips on how to maximize the impact of your resume for the firm you are applying for.
The Anders recruiting team is comprised of Jenna Morris, who focuses on university recruiting, and Trey Meier, who focuses on experienced recruiting. We asked Jenna and Trey what they look for in the resumes that come across their desks.
Resume Tips for Recent Grads
Jenna suggests these tips for recent college grads:
- Include your college GPA. This is important to university recruiters when looking at students for internships or entry level positions.
- Pay attention to formatting. Everything should be lined up, uniform, and consistent.
- Include school and activity or athletic involvement and leadership roles. If you don’t have a lot of professional experience this will help show leadership, teamwork and initiative.
- Include previous internship experience, job shadows, leadership programs and dates of experience and involvement for each.
- It’s okay to have high school job experience, but if there is more current, relevant experience to your field/major, include that instead.
- It’s not necessary to put the name of your high school or your high school GPA.
- Include any awards, scholarships or accolades that help you stand out.
- Make sure your contact email address is current. It’s okay to put your school email, but if you are getting ready to graduate or graduated recently you may want to put your personal email address in case your school email gets shut off.
Resume Tips for Experienced Candidates
Trey suggests these tips for more experienced professional hires:
- There is no set standard for resume length but be mindful about your decision on what to add to a resume. Only include what is relevant about the role you previously held and the role you are applying for. Long resumes may get skimmed through while shorter resume highlight key areas.
- Formatting is very important. If it isn’t well organized or is hard to read, that can be a red flag to a recruiter.
- Start with an overview or summary. This can be just a few sentences on who and what kind of candidate you are that the rest of the resume will give further information on.
- Include the month and year at your previous employers. For example: May 2019 – September 2019. This is especially important for project or contract work that was less than a year. Noting that a position was a short-term job and including the months worked shows that the position was not cut short for some reason.
- Include skills that apply to the position you are applying for. Buzz words are always going to be helpful for the candidate and recruiter. If a job requires certain experience in a specific area, elaborate on any experience you have in that area. For example: if the job description includes ‘experience in scanning documents’ and you have experience with this, specifically state it in the resume “Scanned 50 employee’s personnel files into the company’s HRIS system”.
- Include any achievements, accolades and promotions obtained at previous employers due to the work performed that is relevant to the role you are applying for.
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