What the Best Recruiters Look for in a Resume in 2021

July 11th, 2021

Hiring managers and recruiters are like anyone else. If they are given the same task, asked to read the identical sentences and expected to offer a similar response, then eventually, they are going to zone out.

  • “Team player who can also work independently and exceed targets.”

  • “Great verbal and written communication with proven experience in leadership.”

Sound familiar?

Keep reading to find out What the Best Recruiters Look for in a Resume in 2021.

1. ATS Friendly

More than likely, your CV won’t initially be seen by a human. Before it lands in the hands of a hiring manager, it will first be scanned through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Unfortunately, those impressive tables, cool images and interesting graphics won’t be picked up. In fact, it might land your Resume straight into the reject bin.

Follow this order if you want to pass the big bad ATS system:

  1. Header

  2. Contact information

  3. Title

  4. Summary

  5. Keywords section

  6. Education

  7. Professional experience

  8. Certifications/Awards

  9. Training

  10. Volunteer work

1. Ditch the Pict(ure)

Images and profiles aren’t necessary in 2021. We are working towards a diverse and inclusive workplace. As long as unconscious bias exists, pictures of ourselves aren’t the way forward. 

ATS systems also hate pictures, but love keywords. Yet, at the same time, including hobbies/interests can confuse the machine and once again, it will bin your shiny resume.

How to navigate this...

To help your chances of securing an interview in 2021, we need to strip it back to basics. I’m talking numbers, no pictures; key words, no graphs. 

Add a dash of colour though – ATS systems won’t be upset with some stand-out colours.

2. Who are YOU?

Last, but by no means least, is the YOU part. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know about who you are and what you can do.

Talent scouts love it, ATS systems love it and once you land that interview, you’ll love it too.

1. Discover your strengths and soft/hard skills.

2. Explain your strengths in coherent sentences and stories. Include specific revenues/outcomes if applicable. 

3. Look at the job description and then back at your CV.

Now pick three to four that will benefit you most in this job and explain them.

Relate your wonderful strengths to that of the job description for extra points.

4.  Tie it all together.

Implement your new paragraph in your summary section (just after the title and before your keywords).