What Do Recruiters Look For in a Resume?

June 7, 20178:53 am1513 views

Hiring managers have a tough task of scanning through hundreds of resumes to find a suitable candidate for each job vacancy they need to fill.

They have barely a minute to scan each resume before deciding on the shortlist. In order to better understand their criteria for short listing resumes and selecting the candidates, TimesJobs undertook a study with inputs from 690 hiring managers and recruiters to reveal what they look for in a resume.

Be Specific to the Job

“Even though, most candidates will have the skills required for the job they apply for, the challenge lies in highlighting the right ones. Care must be taken not to fill up the skills section of your resume with a bunch of skills that have absolutely nothing to do with the job you are applying for. Even for the skills you are including, you need to substantiate them.  Therefore, it is not just important what skills you include in your resume, but equally how you highlight them,” says Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, Business Head, TimesJobs.

TimesJobs’ study revealed that each jobseeker must customise his/her resume and highlight their unique skills and experience that are specific to the job they are applying for. Nearly 40 percent recruiters say, focusing on skills relevant to the job offered is the best way to get shortlisted.

Another 36 percent hiring managers state that highlighting universally desired skills such as analytical skills, teamwork and leadership that are appropriate to the job, helps make a resume stand out.

Including skills that provide value-additions to the job profile applied is what 35 percent recruiters advise. For example, a candidate applying for a banking job can include his/her experience using financial data analysis software, even if it is not stated as a requirement.

Researching profiles of professionals who work on the same job that is being applied for, helps candidates understand what skills recruiters deem as essential according to 26 percent hiring managers.

A resume can stand out in the crowd by adding statistics or numbers to skills, suggest 21 percent of recruiters. Such as, substantiating skills and experience with measurable results is a good way to attract recruiter’s attention.

While 20 percent of recruiters advise adding relevant keywords for skills, will help increase visibility of the resume, especially when they are scanning a database of many profiles.

See: Machines as the New-Age Recruiters: How Do You Use AI in HR?

Soft Skills are Critical

60 percent hiring managers say that, while domain knowledge is important, non-technical skills or soft skills are critical while hiring a candidate.

Among the host of soft skills that recruiters desire to see in a resume, the top three are communication skills, leadership skills and teamwork. Here are the multiple choices of their preferences:

  • 33 percent recruiters feel communication skills are crucial
  • 30 percent of recruiters look for leadership skills
  • 26 percent of recruiters consider teamwork and collaboration skills as pivotal
  • 22 percent of recruiters focus on analytical skills
  • 20 percent of recruiters give more weightage to adaptability, and
  • 17 percent recruiters say planning and strategic thinking skills are important

The resume is the first point of contact between a candidate and an employer, therefore making this first impression a good one is critical to get ahead in one’s career. This study by TimesJobs serves as a guide to reveal the skills that can give candidates a competitive edge to rapidly enhance their careers.

Also read: Use of AI Tools Will Help Recruiters Connect with the Right Talent in Singapore

Feature image credit: freepik.com

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