What Employers Really Seek in a Resume


What are employers really looking for in resumes? Career Masters Institute uncovered some interesting answers to that question in its recent survey, “Professionally Written & Designed Resumes: From Getting Noticed to Getting Interviewed.” In terms of first impressions, surveyed employers rated easy readability and use of bullets as the most important points. Highly ranked content factors included a work history that’s easy to read and documented achievements. Content elements that propel employers to immediately discard resumes include too much or too little information, irrelevant information, a focus on duties instead of accomplishments, and long, unexplained breaks in one’s job history. Layout factors that send resumes to the circular file included lack of readability, density of type (paragraphs rather than bullet points), and unnecessary length. Careless spelling and the presence of typos are also resume killers for hiring managers. Finally, employers wanted resumes to show a clear match between the applicant and a particular job’s requirements. A “general” resume that is not focused on a specific job’s requirements was seen as not competitive.