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What Do Employers Look For in a Resume?

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When a hiring manager or human resources professional is faced with hundreds of resumes for a single job opening, it isn’t surprising that they don’t spend time diligently reading each one from top to bottom. This approach simply isn’t feasible even in large companies that use applicant screening software to do some of the work. Instead, these professionals scan resumes looking for certain characteristics and qualities that they want in an employee. Job applicants that know this in advance can tailor their resume content and style to fit exactly what employers are looking for. However, some applicants get stuck the minute that they ask themselves what do employers look for in a resume? Here are the top areas that employers say really make a resume shine.


Applicants That Add Value

While employers almost always start the hiring process with a job description of basic skills, the truth is that they are really looking for an applicant who has skills or characteristics that can benefit the company. That means that even if the applicant doesn’t perfectly match the description, they may be just what the manager is looking for. However, candidates must prove that they provide value to the organization. The most obvious way to do this is by replacing a resume objective with a powerful professional profile that provides a short synopsis of what you bring to the table. The profile should be based both on your career expertise as well as the information that is presented in the job description. Start by making sure that the title on your resume matches the one of the position that you are applying for. Then look for keywords that stand out in the description and insert them into the profile. Repeat this process every time when you apply to a job.

People Who Can Do The Job

If your work experience and skill set matches a position perfectly, an employer won’t have any problem comprehending your ability to do the job. However, most people aren’t a perfect match, which means that you must explain why your skills are a match for the position. Don’t make employers analyze your resume or read through the lines. They don’t have time to do it, and they won’t do it. Start by making reasonable assumptions about the key measurables of the job. If you need help, do an internet search for the job title, which will bring up a myriad of information on the goals. Then list your strongest accomplishments and explain how they accomplished them.


How Risky You Are

While people aren’t expected to stay at jobs as long as they did in previous decades, job hoppers still pose a huge risk for employers. Most employers spend around 2.5 times your annual salary just on orientation, training, office equipment and benefits. So they look at your resume to see how often you have changed jobs to determine how much of a risk you are. However, even those with short job durations can counteract the negative effects by simply switching the format of their resume. Functional resumes that focus on accomplishments will sell employers on what you have to offer before they start doing math on your employment dates.

Applicants With Professionalism

Professionalism is often the very first thing that employers look for, because it’s something that can’t easily be taught. Employers expect employees to already possess a certain level of professionalism so that they can spend training time on more important areas. Conveying professionalism starts by using an email address that sounds business-like instead of cute or catchy. Stick with using a combination of your first and last name. The email system that you use says a lot about you, too. Avoid using antiquated addresses like Yahoo or AOL and sign up for a new address with Gmail.

There are other areas that even seasoned pros get wrong when applying for jobs, such as using an incorrect format. For example: non-profit positions require a CV rather than a resume while most other businesses prefer a chronological or functional resume. Federal positions require a federal/KSA format. Be sure to know what format you should use before applying to the position.

What Do Employers Look for in a Resume | Vertical Media Solutions

Whether you live in Michigan or around the country, the certified professional resume writers at Vertical Media Solutions can guide you toward a successful career change. Our personalized employment services are focused on delivering a powerful presentation of your qualifications and professionalism. Learn how we can help today: 616-631-4300.

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