What Recruiters & Hiring Managers Want in a Resume?

Jatinder Salwan, Heads Human Resources for the Chennai division of Societe General Global Solution Centre. He comes with many years of experience in Talent Acquisition that offer insights into what recruiters and hiring managers look for in your resume.  Jatinder shares his views on how you can make your profile showcase your strengths the right way.

a) Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes – It’s important to keep in mind that in most cases, recruiters are not well versed with the technical terms that are listed in a job description. Keeping this in mind, use simple, succinct language and frame your resume from the point of view of the recruiter, as they would be responsible for the initial screening process. Add keywords from the job description  that match your experience. Since the first level of screening on job portals is mostly automated,  this step will help the tools match your resume to the requirements better and help make your resume stand out.

b) Substantiating the keywords from a hiring manager’s perspective – The Hiring manager is the decision maker when it comes to an invite for an interview. Therefore, it’s important that your resume has enough substance to convince them that you could be the perfect fit. Ensure you add details on specific projects you have worked on & include insights into the exact nature of your typical day at work.  This information should validate your work and convince the hiring manager to call you for an interview.

c) List certifications –  To further strengthen your experience, highlight certifications relevant to the projects you have listed in your resume.

d) List skills you are confident of – Your hiring manager is curious to understand how you can bring value to the team. Therefore a good practice would be to deep dive into a project you can talk about at length. Should you receive an invitation for an interview, this will help you discuss the project you are most comfortable with, with your potential boss. Avoid listing experience that you lack, at all costs. Hiring managers can tell if you are genuine and don’t take it well if they discover that a candidate has lied on their resume.

e) Your ‘digital footprint’ can speak volumes – While the points listed above pertain to your application, it’s also important to be aware of your online presence and personal image. If you are applying to roles, a good practice is to update and maintain your social profiles. On professional networking sites, share just enough information to gain the interest of the recruiter / hiring manager without boring them with unnecessary details. Focus on word limits that don’t push the recruiter to “read more”.

f) Ask yourself if you’re ‘dressed for the next role’ – Do your behavior and mannerisms online project your readiness for the role that you aspire for? A simple aspect that might help is your profile image. It helps to invest in a professionally shot photograph that showcases your thought leadership. For instance, if you regularly participate in panel discussions, , use a photograph that showcases your past speaking experience at a recognized forum. This can help enhance your profile as well. Your presence can extend past social channels. Therefore do a search of yourself online to check for unnecessary publications. This is especially important if you are applying to a senior position. Your ‘digital footprint’ should be clean and showcase a positive personal brand.



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