Updated: Nov 20, 2021
Originally published on Quora by
These words are the key to this question.
This is important to consider when creating, rewriting or editing your resume because it only takes 6 to 8 seconds for a recruiter to place your resume in the "YES pile" or pitch it in the "NO pile".
So, you need to get the recruiters’ attention when they are glancing through the stack of resumes to narrow them down.
5 THINGS RECRUITERS NOTICE AT FIRST GLANCE ON A RESUME
I’m assuming that you want your resume to make the cut. So, I’m going to give you some tips on how to make sure that happens.
Here are 5 sure-fire aspects of a resume the recruiter will notice right away.
1. RESUME FORMAT
The first impression, at first glance, of your resume the recruiter sees is how it looks on the page.
Because it only takes 6 to 8 seconds for a recruiter to place your resume in the YES pile or pitch it in the NO pile, you need to get the recruiters’ attention when they are glancing through the stack of resumes to narrow them down.
Take a look at these two resume formats.
Imagine being the recruiter and having these two resumes to choose from to take a closer look at.
One of them has a wall of text and lacks attention-grabbing formatting. The second resume catches the eye with engaging formatting, a touch of color and can be quickly scanned for relevant information in the top half.
Which would you look closer at after the first glance, Resume A or Resume B?
Why is that?
RIGHT! More attractive, eye-catching formatting.
This is an important part of what I provide to my clients when creating resumes for them because I want recruiters to be drawn to the resume and be compelled to read it.
The resume layout is the first thing the recruiter will observe, and it should be:
Neat with only a splash of one color throughout to draw attention
Only 1 font (but use different sizes of the font for emphasis and style)
Font size no smaller than 11pt, no bigger than 12pt (except for headings)
Bold headings and subheadings; italics for emphasis
1 to 2 pages (unless a long-form CV)
2. YOUR IDENTITY
The very next thing the recruiter will look for at first glance is your identifying information, which is your name, career title, address (I recommend using a P.O. Box), social media presence, and mobile number.
These identifiers are significant to getting placed in the YES pile with recruiters.
3. RESUME PROFILE
Your profile is the executive summary, career summary or summary of qualifications and is the third thing the recruiter notices at first glance.
This section should appear at the top after your identifying information. Here is where you have the opportunity to stand out in the sea of resumes that companies get.
Most recruiters will only take a few seconds glancing at a resume, and most of that time they will be looking at the top half of your resume.
Another factor that recruiters look for when glancing through a resume is keywords.
The best place to have keywords is in your resume profile, but also throughout the resume when describing your qualifications, skills, experiences and achievements.
Keywords should match the job description and show that you have experience in what they are looking for.
Note: Many companies use an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that automates the process of searching for keywords in a resume.
5. EXPERIENCE AT CURRENT OR PREVIOUS COMPANY
Likely the fifth element a recruiter will look for at first glance is your current or previous work experience.
The recruiter will be curious to know where you are coming from, which includes the company’s reputation and credibility.
So, what recruiters look for in a resume at FIRST GLANCE is usually the information on the top half of the resume.
If they decide to take a closer look at your resume, then everything else comes into play, such as quantifiable content, education, experience, whether there are date gaps, etc.
Hope this helps!
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