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Have you ever wondered what goes through a recruiter’s mind when they look at your resume? Well now is your chance to find out!

It all starts with a ‘why’

The first thing the recruiter will want to know is why your resume is sitting in front of them and why you applied. What has been your career experience so far, why are you applying for this job, and most importantly why should they take an interest in you?

Depending on how you lay out your resume, your personal statement/objective is likely the first thing the recruiter will read, so make sure it is tailored to the specific job and explains why you are applying. This is crucial! Keep it brief and focus on your experience and why you are the best fit for the job. Don’t be tempted to write about what you are looking to achieve next in your career – the recruiter needs to know how well you fit an organization’s needs right now, not how the organisation can help you move forward.

What are your skills?

After reading your intro, recruiters will search your resume to look for the suitable experience you mentioned in your intro. Make it easy for recruiters to find! Place a short list beneath your personal statement, almost like a quick snapshot of your main skills, starting with those that are most aligned with the job you’re applying for; e.g. accounts receivables, plus your technical abilities such as Quickbooks or Excel.

Where’s the proof?

Great! Now you’ve got the recruiter’s attention with your personal statement and key skills, the next step is proving it! You need to highlight and showcase evidence of your skills in the career history/work experience section of your resume.

Starting with your most recent role, list your relevant career history to date. List the job title and organisation, and then follow with a few points detailing your responsibilities and achievements. Try to showcase this in a way that mirrors the key words and language used in the job description – think about the job description as a question and your resume as the answer. Does it actually answer it?

Where possible include facts, statistics and links to your work! This is where you can really show the proof recruiters are looking for. For example, if you listed web content management as one of your key skills, you could try including some analytics numbers like click-through-rate and conversions. You should also link to some of your online content so that they can see what you can do!

If any past roles aren’t relevant to this opportunity, simply list the name of the company, your job title, and the dates you were employed. This shows you were employed during this time, while freeing up space for your more suitable experience.

Has your resume ticked all the boxes?

At this point, a recruiter will have likely already made a decision on whether to add your resume to their ‘yes’ pile or not. But we’re not done yet! To take your resume even further, think about the following things:

These include:
1. Attention to detail – Resume mistakes reflect badly on your attention to detail and this can be extremely off-putting for a recruiter. Proofread at least once before sending it, even better get someone else to proof read it for you! A fresh pair of eyes is never a bad thing.
2. Can a recruiter easily get in contact? There is nothing more frustrating than when a candidate either has no contact details, the details are no longer up to date or they are incorrect. If there are other start candidates out there and you made yourself difficult to contact, you may have just cut yourself out of consideration.

In a given week here at Nova we review at least 100 resumes, so you really need to think about how to make your resume stand out! To catch the attention of a recruiter (whether at an agency or not) you need to make an instant, positive impact with your resume and hopefully these tips will help you do just that.

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