Resume Tips: What a Recruiter Can See on Your Resume in 30 Seconds

By Corey Hastings

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Becoming a stand-out candidate and adopting the A-Player mentality are sure-fire ways to get hired. And while many tactics can help throughout the job search process, your resume is your first foot in the door. It has to speak to the person hiring.

A top recruiter can often know if you’re qualified for the job within 30 seconds of reading your resume. Certain attributes weigh stronger than others. So what should stand out?

Below, we’ve highlighted 3 important things a top recruiter can see upon first glance of your resume.

1. Stability

The first thing that stands out on a resume is job stability, a hot button that almost all recruiters can agree is integral in the hiring process. If a candidate changes jobs every 1-2 years or less, it’s a major red flag.

Stability says a lot about a candidate, which is why it’s such an important part of a resume. Long term job stability shows loyalty and career direction. It also helps give a look into a candidate’s personality. If there are constant job changes, this could mean the candidate gets disenchanted quickly, or behaviorally, they don’t get along with others for the long haul.

While there are certainly cases of companies going out of business, or just bad luck, generally a lack of stability is a warning sign recruiters prefer to avoid.

2. Accomplishments

When a recruiter does see long-term stability on a resume, they also want to see what accomplishments were achieved during that time frame. These accomplishments help validate job stability.

While it’s one thing to have been with a company for a long period of time, showcasing your track-record of achievements gives the recruiter a sense of how driven and talented you are. An exemplary employee can turn job duties into accomplishments.

When listing successes, don’t just describe what you did, but how well you did it. For example, if you’re in sales, list your sales volume per year and how many new accounts you’ve opened up. 

3. Goals or Objectives 

Including a goal or objective at the top of your resume is a common and suggested practice. But what that goal or objective says makes all the difference.

Ensuring your listed goal or objective lines up with your job stability and accomplishments is crucial. Often, recruiters will see an objective that seems impractical, one that doesn’t tie into the story the rest of a resume is telling.

Let’s take a sales professional for example. Say this candidate has listed their career objective as “Becoming a Vice President of Sales,” but they have changed jobs every 2 years and have no major accomplishments under their belt. This shows the recruiter that their experience and their objectives do not line up.

While it’s great to have long-term goals for your career, your resume should reflect appropriate goals for your experience level. If you’re still finding your footing in your industry, let your goals or objectives reflect that.  Alternatively, if you have the accomplishments and long-term stability to tout, let your goals or objectives be the first thing a recruiter sees.

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