10 Things Recruiters Look For In A Resume At First Glance

By Talentwolf

What sort of things do recruiters look for in a resume?

Recruiter are very busy professionals. Not only are they on time crunches to find new hires for numerous organisations and companies, but they also have to deal with hundreds upon hundreds of resumes before choosing the perfect ones to present to executives and supervisors. It’s not the easiest job and each minute of the day is precious, so your resume better with a few things recruiters look for in a resume or else it’s going in the dump pile!

Each recruiter has their own list of preferences when it comes down to basic skills and knowledge candidates should have (much of it based on the actual position itself), but since they sort through tons of resumes each day, they can tell at a glance if a potential candidate is good for a position. Because recruiters have no time to waste, it’s essential that your resume is in tiptop shape, appealing to the recruiter after a quick look over to be placed into the consideration pile.

Here a list of things of what to put in your resume

Your contact details

- Name
- Location – no need to include your full address, your suburb or city is enough. Where you are located and if you can work in the city/suburb is another thing recruiters look for in resumes. Make it crystal clear or explain otherwise so that they aren’t stuck trying to figure you out!
- Contact Number
- Email Address

Past experience
At quick glance, a recruiter will first notice your job history, in particular, the companies you’ve worked for to see if it’s a huge corporation like Amazon or Apple. Company recognition can tell a lot about a candidate, such as the skills, abilities and more since many can spot trends and patterns derived from all the other candidates who have worked there before. So if you’ve worked for a huge name brand company, your resume might hold more weight than others.

But if not, it just means the recruiter has to dig deeper into your resume to tell if you’re a good fit or not.
- Job title – i.e. Credit Controller
 - Company Name
 - Dates of Employment – including month and year
 - Responsibilities – bullet point what YOU did in your position, include any significant IT systems. Keep this concise.

I would suggest 5 or 6 points on what you did within the role on a regular basis

 - Achievements – any noteworthy accomplishments which YOU made during your time there – an example could be an award or training certification?
Your experience should be as detailed as possible on your resume since this is another highlight that recruiters check for at quick glance. The fact that you are progressing in your career is a huge plus and having the responsibilities that the position requires will get your resume sent to the “call” pile!

The use of keywords

You already probably know that keywords are key when doing Internet searches, but did you know that they are also important additions to your resume? Recruiters don’t have the luxury of time to spend on each and every resume and so many admit to using the “command +F” function to find certain keywords as they pertain to the job they are recruiting for.

For examples, a keyword for marketing would include “Google Adwords/ Marketo" while you’d want to add in “sales” if that’s the position you’re looking for. But even though you want to include a few keywords as they relate to your experience or the position you want, you still have to make sure your resume flows right and is authentic. You don’t want to place in a load of keywords because that’ll send your resume straight to the trash!

Online presence

We live in the digital age where everyone has their own personal online presence. Although it’s not required, if you add your social media links, know that they do get clicked on, so be careful about what you add to social media in case your resume does feature any personal accounts. Also, don’t forget to include any online work you’ve done to demonstrate your abilities further! 

Employment gaps

It’s totally fine to have gaps in your employment, but you want to make sure you explain to them because a recruiter will question them. Not explaining why you took a few years off to either raise your kids or work on your business will make the recruiter wonder what you were up to and possibly get your resume in the trash pile. 

Organization of your resume

Although a recruiter mostly cares about your experience, knowledge and skills, they still notice your resume’s overall organization. Is it free of any grammar or spelling mistakes? Is it easy to read or too confusing? They’ll take this all into account when deciding if they want to pursue your or not. Also, don’t make your resume into an 8-page spread. Condense it so that it’s no more than two pages.


- Title of Qualification– i.e. Public Relations & Advertisement
 - Name of School / University / College
 - Year of Completion    

Appeal of the resume

Resumes can be boring so why not make a recruiter’s job easier by making yours easy on the eyes! Use color and nice typography to really grab their attention instead of opting for the boring format and colors that everybody else uses. Don’t just use a template and get creative with your resume, especially if you’re looking for a position in a creative field, niche or industry. Also, throw in some personality into your resume by lightening t up a bit!

Passion with personal projects

Recruiters see the same things on resume after resume so why not show them that you’re unique by listing key personal projects? This can really show them passion for the industry and be the deciding factor to bring you in to meet with bosses! 

How modern the format is

Traditionally, resumes used to always have that “Objective” right at the top that explains what you’re trying to do with your resume. But we live in modern times and that’s no longer needed! Recruiters don't care about it and don’t want to see it. Also, you can skip the pronouns when describing your experience and get straight to the meat of it all!


- I recommend that you tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Include a cover letter or an outline of particular skills relevant to the role
 - Make sure your employment and education history are in reverse chronological order, ie the most recent is on the top of your list - Ensure your resume is only 2 or 3 pages long

And now what?

Now that you know what to include to make recruiters want to contact you after merely glancing at your resume, subscribe to Talentwolf to send your revamped resume to the best recruiters around!