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What Do Recruiters And Companies Look For In A Resume?

If you want to progress to the interview stage of the recruitment process, your resume needs to compel recruiters and companies to act. Recruiters and employers may receive tens or hundreds of resumes for a single job opening, so it is vital that when the hiring manager scans your resume, they know that you are a candidate worth calling in for an interview.

To make the desired impact, you need a resume with outstanding formatting and content that efficiently and concisely conveys your skills, experience, qualifications, and positive personal attributes.

Here we shine a light on what recruiters and companies look for in a resume, helping you secure the interviews you deserve.

Formatting your resume for recruiters

The feel and readability of your resume are crucial if you are to draw in the reader. Several formatting considerations will help you plan, write, and review your resume.


The layout of your resume should be consistent and clear. You can achieve readability by refraining from using multiple font types. Instead of choosing a different font for titles, enlarge and bold them. A font such as Arial, Calibri, or Veranda is the easiest to read when sized between 10 and 12 pt. You should use bullet points to highlight skills, responsibilities, and achievements, with sentences no longer than two lines.


Your resume must contain no inconsistencies if it is to be considered by employers. Your resume should be constructed in reverse chronological order, with no unexplained gaps in your work history.

File format

It would help if you made it easy for a recruiter to download, find, and open your resume. We recommend saving the file as your name followed by ‘resume’ (John Biggs resume). Suppose you save the file just as ‘resume,’ it will be impossible for the reader to find. We also recommend saving your file as a pdf, which retains your formatting. For example, if you save a Word file, it can look very different when opened in Pages.


You need to include the right keywords to ensure your resume doesn’t end up in the trash, whether scanned visually by eye or by automatic ATS recruiter software. Read the job description in the job ad and pull out the skills, qualifications, achievements, and experience the employer mentions. Make these your keywords and place them within your résumé’s content.

Creating the content recruiters look for in a resume

Recruiters look for various sections and pieces of information, so make sure they appear on your resume.

Experience and responsibilities

Ensure your experience, whether it is half a year in one job or six years in another, appears consistent with the experience the recruiter is seeking. Use similar language to the job description and highlight what you were responsible for, how you contributed, and the added value.


Your skills should reflect those that the employer is looking for. Highlight each attribute or trait and provide evidence of how you used it and the result. We recommend being specific, so include percentages, scales, and figures.


If you exceeded targets, reduced costs, received an award, or were given a promotion, this is superb quantifying information demonstrating how you overachieved. 


If the job advert asks for particular educational achievements or professional qualifications, then these should be listed on your resume. You cannot assume that the recruiter will think you have the proper education just because you applied for the job.

Resume templates

Struggling to put together a resume that catches the attention of recruiters and companies? Explore our career-based resume templates:

Transportation and Logistics resume template