How to Make a Recruiter Like Your Resume

So… I’ve been getting a lot of emails, Facebook messages, texts… well everything really ^^ asking for tips on resumes, cover letters and finding a job since I became a recruiting coordinator.

Figured I’d make it a little easier for everyone and share the wisdom I’ve learned over the last month and a half (hey, it may not be a long time but I think I’ve been doing OK ^^)

My Rockstar Trophee!

How to Make a Recruiter Like Your Resume

  1. Keep it short — there’s a reason you keep reading everywhere that your resume should be no longer than a page. I read dozens of them every day, and yes, I do spend an average of a few seconds on each and every single one of them. I don’t want to look through 3 pages of experience that is always the same duties or doesn’t even relate to the position.
  2. Nice and organized — you don’t want your resume to look like a nightmare. How do you make your resume easy for a recruiter to read?
  3. Bold your positions — make it easy for me to see what you’ve done.
  4. Use keywords — I look for the exact same words I use in job descriptions, so use them! It’s a surefire way to grab my attention.
  5. Use bullet points — please don’t write a paragraph about each job you’ve had. A list of important duties (punctuated with key words and compelling adjectives / adverbs) will more than suffice.
  6. Use headings — does the ad specify you need to have a Bachelor’s degree? Make sure you list education, nice and obvious!
  7. List your skills — it doesn’t hurt to have a section pointing our notable skills (make sure you include as many of the skills listed in the ad as possible!)
  8. Use font bigger than 10. I may be 23… but I don’t want to squint at resumes. That stuff gives you crows’ feet!
  9. Personalize your objective — I know you didn’t just send me a generic copy of your resume when I see the position title and the name of my company at the top of your resume. Hey, it won’t change whether you have the experience necessary to land this position, but it will grab my attention and win you brownie points.
  10. Make me laugh — Yes, it makes my day! Oh, and it makes your resume stand out ;D

So how does all this look? Thought you might ask O=] has some pretty decent resume samples.

That’s all for now folks! Leave me a comment and let me know whether this was helpful (oh, and ask more questions! I’m thinking about writing a post about cover letters soon — been getting a lot of questions about those too.)

*** Like this article? Check out my Job Search Toolbox for more great tips! ***

12 thoughts on “How to Make a Recruiter Like Your Resume

    • Glad you found it helpful!
      Get internships! This is the single most important thing — make sure you get some kind of work experience, the more related to work you would like to do after you graduate, the better.
      Volunteer experience just isn’t quite as convincing, so do your best to get internships or, if you can, a part-time/full-time position doing something related to your major / future career.

      I should probably write another post about this, huh? =]

      • Sophie, first of all you look gorgeous with your trophy and beautiful smile..One thing I would like to know, how many pages a very good resume can cover.??

      • Hi Girish,
        Thanks for your question! An American style resume (unlike an international CV) should only be 1-2 pages long.
        The whole point is to keep it concise and use that limited space to only showcase the experience that is related to the position you’re applying for (instead of explaining each and every single position you’ve ever had.)

  1. Very nice Sophie. I will definitely agree with all your points.. and make amendments in my CV. Thanks for everything..God bless.

  2. Hi Sophie! I was wondering how important a cover letter is relative to the resume. Also what kind of info is best to divulge on a cover letter? Should I explain how the projects/experience I have are related to the desired job skills on the cover letter? (Its almost a page long in 11pt font -_-)
    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • Hi jobless!

      Thanks for stopping by and your kind words! The cover letter may be read before or after your resume so it may be the “date keeper” to whether your resume is read, or it may simply add a little more info/context to your resume.

      As such, your cover letter needs to stay short so only mention the projects that relate to the job you’re applying to the most, and give a brief explanation about how the skills you learned from those projects give you the skills to be successful in the job you’re applying to. You don’t have to go into full detail — that’s what the interview is for — just wet your reader’s appetite to have you come in and tell them more.

      Hope this helps!

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