Create A Recruiter-Friendly Resume

The majority of recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (“ATS”) that search resumes for keywords, automatically discarding all resumes that do not meet specified keyword criteria and forwarding those that do to the requesting recruiter. They require the resume to be created using a standard application like Word or PDF, or created using online entry to their database. Even if they don’t immediately use an ATS, the recruiter will scan resumes for keywords.

A recruiter typically spends about 10 seconds on each resume, so if you don’t grab their attention at the top of the first page of your resume, you are toast. Standing out from the crowd has just become that much more difficult. Remember that a resume is just a door opener to getting that interview.

Here are five edits to create a recruiter friendly resume.

1. Refocus your formal resume.

Most resumes are boring and generally focus on data irrelevant to your objective of being selected for an interview. So a resume should be one or two pages at the most, with the first page a big push for attention.

A recruiter wants to know your skills, and the benefits you will bring to their organisation. That is where the focus of the first page should be. You should attract his interest quickly.

Before each application, review your resume and create a resume specific to that application highlighting just what a great fit your skills and experience are for the post. The summary in particular should have the keywords from the job advert for the ATS to find.

2. Make your resume short and standout:

· Use sections. Have about 4 sections – Summary, Personal Details, Employment History, any other relevant stuff.

· The ATS will prefer a standard font like Arial or Helvetica. Comic Sans and other funky fonts are a no-no.

· Align left to make it more easily and quickly read by the recruiter.

· Use bullets, italics, bold and capitals to highlight material. Draw the recruiters eye to important key facts about your skills and experience.

· Take keywords from the job advert. This helps ATS software select your resume.

3. Use a snappy summary.

· This is probably the most important section, and key to you getting to the interview. Put all the important stuff relevant to the job application near the start in a short snappy summary.

Set out a summary of your application, precisely tailored to show how your skills and experience meet the requirements as set out in the job spec. Use keywords from the job spec. Use power words. Some people use the same text as they use in the covering letter.

4. Precision and numbers.

Recruiters like numbers and figures. It gives them a better grasp of what they are reading. “Reduced wasteful expenditure by 15%” is far better than “Reduced wasteful expenditure significantly”.

5. Check, check and check again.

· Check your writing with Grammarly or Language Tool, use a professional resume edit service. Sloppy grammar and bad spelling will have your resume thrown out immediately. Do not under any circumstances use SMS speak.

· Have someone else read your resume. A second pair of eyes can often see things that you don’t.

This article was prepared by CraftResumes Community.


    • Thanks for stopping by! A summary is a great way to catch the eye of the recruiter especially if you can include the keywords that they want for the job. Linkedin is a great resource for finding effective examples of this.

      Liked by 1 person

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