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What Recruiters Like to See in a Resume

By Jeremy Cyrus 10/25/2013
What Recruiters Like to See in a Resume

From a candidate's point of view, recruiters and hiring managers tend to look very similar. They both represent gatekeepers, they both need to be impressed before an offer takes place, and they both know more about the position at hand than the candidate does. But there are also a few critical differences in the way these two people review a resume. Here are some of the things that recruiters specifically like to see.

  1. Credentials that match the order. While a hiring manager looks over a resume and asks "Can the candidate thrive in this position?", the recruiter asks "Will the manager think the candidate can thrive in this position?" After this position is filed, the recruiter will move onto the next client, who may work for a different organization in a completely different industry. It's her job to please the manager. It's not her job to successfully run the company.

  2. The recruiter wants a candidate who will make her proud. Can the candidate speak well? Can he learn fast? Like the manager, the recruiter is looking for someone she can trust. But in her case, she needs to trust the candidate to make a great impression. Her job and her reputation are both on the line, and if he looks good, she looks good.

  3. Basic software, math, and language proficiency. Recruiters and staffing agencies sometimes screen candidates using hard skill tests that focus on grammar, basic math, and software fluency. If the candidate passes with flying colors, this may say almost nothing about his ability to succeed on the job. But the recruiter will be ready to put him through to the next round.

  4. Certifications. If the client asks for a specific certification, from CMA to CNC to CPR, the recruiter will be pleased to find these prominently listed on the candidate's resume, regardless of what these letters stand for.

  5. The ability to say yes. Recruiters often balk at red flags like out-of-state addresses, complex competing obligations, and other things that may make the candidate reject an offer. Recruiters like candidates who can to step into the job without hesitation if invited.

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