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Insider Insights: What Recruiters Really Look for in Your Resume 

A well-written resume provides recruiters with a candidate’s professional background, skills, and achievements, assessing whether they fit within the company. With so much competition, recruiters would have to sift through countless resumes every day.

To stand out in the career landscape, it’s essential to understand what recruiters look for in a resume. In this article, we’ll share insights on how you can differentiate yourself with your resume.


Job Application Mistakes to Avoid 

Paychex surveyed 203 hiring managers and found that there are certain things applicants do that put them off.¹ Here’s a list of the frequency of job application mistakes you may want to avoid to increase your chances of getting hired:

  • 71% Generic resume
  • 73% Missing dates
  • 86% Spelling and grammar mistakes
  • 90% Failing to follow application instructions
  • 38% Generic cover letter
  • 32% No cover letter


Why Is It Important to Have a Resume That Stands Out? 

A standout resume captures a recruiter’s attention in a competitive job market, increasing the likelihood of securing an interview. It showcases your unique skills, experiences, and achievements, distinguishing you from other candidates.

A well-crafted resume demonstrates your suitability for the role and reflects your professionalism and commitment to excellence. It communicates your value proposition and makes it more compelling why you’re the ideal candidate. A well-thought-out resume can either serve as a powerful marketing tool, opening doors to career opportunities and setting the stage for success or be just another document tossed aside.


What Recruiters Look for in a Resume 

Here are 14 things recruiters specifically look for in a resume. How many of them did you spot in your resume?


1. Relevance to the Position

Recruiters actively seek resumes that seamlessly align with job requirements. They meticulously review resumes for elements such as keywords, skills, and experiences that directly correspond to the outlined job description. This emphasizes the importance of tailoring your resume for each application, as standardized approaches may not effectively convey your suitability for the specific role.


2. Professional Summary

Your summary serves as an elevator pitch, offering recruiters an introduction to your qualifications and setting the tone for the rest of the document. The key to an appealing summary is to cover your skills, career goals, and overall professional identity.


3. Work Experience

Recruiters look into the work experience section to gain insights into your professional journey. They focus on identifying evidence of your abilities and accomplishments in past roles. With this in mind, the key is to cover your quantifiable achievements, identify your responsibilities, and show how you contributed to your previous employers.

This narrative should convey a story of progression and success, underlining how your accumulated experiences prepared you for the new role.

Related Article: 7 Great Jobs That Require No Experience or Qualifications 


4. Education

Recruiters scrutinize degrees, certifications, and institutions. They also look for relevant coursework or academic projects showcasing your expertise in the field. Particularly for entry-level positions, education often holds substantial weight, making it vital to include relevant information regarding educational background.

Related Reading: 11 Courses To Boost Your Career Path 


5. Skills

Recruiters swiftly scan the skills section to assess the technical and soft skills essential for the job. Striking a balance between comprehensiveness and specificity is crucial to showing an overview of your capabilities. Also, incorporating a mix of general and job-specific skills allows your resume to pass through Applicant Tracking Systems.


6. Keywords

According to research by Jobscan, 97.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS in their hiring process.²

In recognition of the prevalence of ATS, seamlessly integrating keywords from the job description is essential. These systems filter resumes based on specific terms, emphasizing the need to align your language with the job posting. However, it’s important to incorporate keywords organically to maintain the readability and authenticity of your resume.


7. Accomplishments and Achievements

Recruiters are naturally drawn to candidates who can substantiate their impact in previous roles. Leveraging the accomplishment-oriented CAR (Challenge, Action, Result) method is encouraged to emphasize how you overcame challenges and what contributions were made to help your previous employers succeed.


8. Quantifiable Results

The inclusion of quantifiable results significantly enhances the appeal of your resume. Recruiters appreciate numerical indicators of success, whether in terms of revenue growth, cost savings, or project completion metrics. Tangible achievements showcase your capabilities, providing recruiters a concrete understanding of your contributions.


9. Career Progression

A clear and logical career progression indicates stability and growth. Recruiters meticulously examine the trajectory of your professional journey. Often, they look at how candidates commit to their roles and personal development through their evolving responsibilities and positions. If your resume reflects frequent role changes, it is advisable to be prepared to address this in your resume, cover letter, or during the interview.


10. Relevant Extracurricular Activities

Active participation in industry-related events, professional associations, or community involvement shows your commitment and passion for the industry. Candidates who demonstrate a genuine interest in their field beyond job responsibilities stand out. These events may include conferences, workshops, volunteer work, and networking events.


11. Consistency and Formatting

Consistent formatting, clear headings, and the use of bullet points contribute to a professional appearance. Conversely, a cluttered or confusing resume may dissuade recruiters from thoroughly reviewing your qualifications.

The key to having a visually appealing resume that you can quickly achieve is to use a ready template or to follow a resume structure you can find online.


12. Attention to Detail

Recruiters value candidates who display a keen attention to detail. Typos, grammatical errors, or inconsistencies are viewed as red flags, as they often signify carelessness. To ensure a polished document, proofread your resume multiple times, seek feedback from peers or mentors, or use online tools like Grammarly.


13. Professionalism

Your resume serves as a direct reflection of your professionalism. Recruiters actively seek evidence of a well-thought-out and polished document. Utilize a clean and professional layout, avoid unnecessary graphics, and ensure your contact information is accurate and updated.


14. Cultural Fit

Beyond skills and experience, recruiters assess whether a candidate aligns with the company’s culture. Clues in your resume, such as shared values, mission alignment, or experiences indicating adaptability and teamwork, are particularly noted. Demonstrating cultural fit enhances your overall appeal to recruiters.

Related Reading: 13 Strategies to Boost Your Job Search in the New Year 


Craft Your Resume with Care 

You can customize your resume to effectively communicate a positive first impression when you understand what recruiters are looking for. As one of the first forms of communication, resumes become crucial in getting hired. Let this guide help you craft a well-written resume that can help you tap opportunities.

Emphasize your contributions, unique strengths, background, and personal aspirations, as well as ensure quality from spelling to information—to ultimately transform your resume into a powerful asset for your professional journey.



Is your new resume ready and customized for your next job applications? If yes, partner with Corporate Job Bank to make your job search more efficient.

We are Arizona’s number 1 locally owned staffing firm. We can match you with the best employers in Accounting and Finance, Call Center, Legal, Engineering, Light Industrial, and more. Trust our expertise and be one of the 50,000 employees we place in various fields.

Contact us today, and let’s start working together on your career.



1 “What Employees and Employers Are Seeking From the Job Market.” Paychex, Updated 24 Jun. 2022,

2 Myers, Sydney. “2023 Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Usage Report: Key Shifts and Strategies for Job Seekers.” Jobscan, 2 Oct. 2023,