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The performance of a recruiter is measured by the quality of their hires and the retention of those employees. When screening resumes and searching for talent, recruiters look for these:


Recruiters want to quickly see everything you are from the top third of your resume’s first page. They’ll look for your contact information, most recent job title, LinkedIn profile URL, and a professional skills summary. Don’t write an objective statement of what you want. Write a summary statement of who you are and what you can do.

The ‘F’ Pattern

Recruiters want to look where they’re used to looking. They’ll read the top third of your resume’s first page, section headers on the left, job title dates on the right, and maybe some bullet text. Include traditional header terminology like skills, experience, and education. Leave some white space and maintain consistent formatting. Unless you’re working the creative field, don’t include fancy fonts or graphics.


Recruiters want proof you can do the job. They’ll look for evidence throughout your resume of your listed skills. Show, don’t tell the recruiter you have these skills. Include examples, numbers, and a portfolio URL when applicable, to demonstrate your strongest skills.


Recruiters want candidates who can grow quickly. They’ll look for the ability and desire to learn new skills. They know employer expectations of candidates occasionally exceed reasonableness, so in lieu of ‘the perfect candidate,’ they’ll look for a willingness to acquire missing skills. Highlight your history of quick skill development and your knowledge of the latest trends in your field.


Recruiters want – and appreciate – candidate effort. They’ll look for evidence that proves you tailored your application. Customize your resume!