What Is HR really looking for in a resume?

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Appling for a new job can be very frustrating. You spend hours crafting your resume to get it just right only to never make it past the application section. What exactly will get your resume to the screening stage? You need to give HR personnel what they are looking for. Below are some common basics that HR is looking for. Get these right on your resume and you will see call backs start to increase, helping you get closer to that dream job!

Keywords

Typically the recruiters in HR are not subject matter experts in the field they are searching for. They are aware of the job and what qualifications managers are looking for, but they are likely searching LinkedIn and other databases for keywords the manager has given them to find people. This includes when they are reviewing resumes of candidates who directly applied. Think of keywords that may be associated with the jobs you are applying to. Look at job descriptions to make sure you are using the same language. This will help HR more easily see that your skills are a match.

Easy to Read Format

Make sure you are using a format that is easy for HR to read. Make your qualifications stand out in a way that someone can scan your resume and quickly see what you bring to the table. Recruiters are typically working on several jobs and have seconds to scan your resume to see if you are someone they want to contact. Keep your resume to two pages unless you are at the executive level. Check out The Muse’s article on the top 41 article templates for some inspiration.

Impact

As Robin Madell states in her US News article “Here’s exactly what hiring managers look for in a resume” applicants should quantify their impact in their last job. If you are in sales, tell them how many new clients you brought on board each month and the revenue it generated. These specifics will help HR and hiring managers see the value you have provided in the past and what you may potentially bring to their company in the future.

Attention to Detail

This is where you need to triple check that you don’t have any spelling errors and your sequence makes sense. If you have these simple errors in your resume it tells HR that you aren’t disciplined enough to work at their company. Your resume is your first impression with the company, so if you don’t put in the effort with your resume, how does that correlate to how you will perform the job? Have a couple of people review your resume for grammar and readability. Having fresh eyes on your resume will help you spot these issues and put forward a resume that will help you move past the first level of screening. You may also consider paying a professional to review your resume to help your resume be top notch.

 

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