Top 10 Things Recruiters Look For

Recruiters looking for job applicants

When scouting potential candidates, and reviewing resumes that have already been submitted, there are several things that every job recruiter looks for. Whether you’re looking for an internship or are a seasoned C Suite Executive, recruiters look for the same set of things from applicants.

Knowing what they are before you send off your resume gives you an advantage above other applicants, as you’ll be able to tailor your resume accordingly. And with a solid recruiter-friendly resume in hand, you’ll stand out from other applicants and be the most likely to land the job.

1.  Job Stability

One of the things recruiters will ask for is an RFL (Reason For Leaving) your previous role. Clients that are investing in Recruiters want to see a stable job history from applying candidates. If you only work at jobs for a month or two, or have unexplained gaps in your employment, it can be a red flag to employers.

2.  A Properly-Formatted Resume

If you have a properly-formatted resume with a clean and modern design, it will automatically stand out above most other candidates that get submitted. Resumes that are informative and easy to read are the ones most likely to catch the eye of a hiring manager. Check out our resume checklist for more information on how to properly format your resume.

3.  Relevant Work Experience

Recruiters and hiring managers always look at work history and your project background. They compare it to the role and responsibilities of the position you are applying for, so make sure your resume highlights your experience with those types of projects.

4.  Career Goals

Think about where you want to take your career. Do you aspire to lead a department? Run a crew? Run a company? Where do you want to be in the next 3-5 years? If you have the answers to questions like these, you are better prepared to write a solid resume and nail your interview questions. Employers love candidates that know what they want for their career.

5.  References & Recommendations

Having personal and professional references attached on a resume and Linkedin is important. You can supply your references directly on your resume, if there is space available, or you can state that “references available upon request”, and keep those listed and ready to use in a separate document. Being able to provide quality references in a timely fashion is a great way to set yourself apart from other applicants.

6.  Responsive

Are you difficult to get ahold of? Are you putting in any effort on your end to actually get a new job? Recruiters want to see that you are committed to the entire hiring process, so make the effort on your end to be available, friendly, and eager. Answer questions they have, be transparent, and quick to respond when they email or call you.

7.  Keyword Utilization

The best job candidates scour the job posting they’re applying for and take any keywords found within and put them into their resume (and cover letter, if needed). This is called optimizing your resume, and it is one of the best ways to be found by employers and gives you a chance to be exposed to more opportunities that are currently available on the market.

When optimizing your resume, remember to avoid abbreviations and slang. Before sending off your resume, be sure to double check your grammar and spelling. Many employers run all resumes through an algorithm before looking at them in person. The algorithm looks for certain keywords and if your resume is missing these – or if they are misspelled – your resume may get skipped over and result in decreased chances of getting the job.

8.  Updated LinkedIn Page

When searching for a new job, remember that your resume isn’t the only thing that needs to be updated – your LinkedIn and social media accounts need to be as well. LinkedIn and social media accounts are another way for recruiters and employers to get a quick feel for who you are. Remember to keep your accounts appropriate and professional.

9.  Clear Communication

When communicating with a recruiter or potential employer, remember to always do so in an appropriate manner. This should always be the case whether you are on a call, sending an email, or in an in-person meeting or interview. Keep your tone professional, and use clear language.

10. Solid Project List

On your resume, if it is applicable, remember to include a solid list of all the projects you have worked on. Include specific details like each project’s size and budget, the type of project, and even the name of the project, if it can be shared.

If you are happy in your current position, or happy with your growth trajectory at your current firm, you are likely better off staying with them. However, if you are unhappy with your role, or don’t see a path to reaching your goal – whether that be in job title or salary – working with a recruiter can be a great way to help navigate the process of finding a new job.