In today's job market, there are a variety of things recruiters are looking for on a candidate's resume.
Relevant skills, employment history, measurable and demonstrated accomplishments, and relevant industry experience are but a few common examples.
Many employers are also looking for certain presentation qualities like contact information, white space, neatness, organisation and cover letters.
However, if there was one thing recruiters are looking for, it would be…
Something Unique or Different
Even if you've gone to the trouble of clearly defining your objective and including job-relevant keywords, if your resume doesn't stand out from the others, you may end up getting overlooked.
You could very well be the most qualified person for the job. You might even bring the most experience to the table. However, you still need to get noticed before you are going to be considered for the position. Here's how to make your resume unique:
Adapt Your Resume To The Position You Are Applying For
Many recruiters won't even look at resumes that haven't been catered to specific positions these days. Either the applicant's cover letter or career summary will make it obvious whether they have tailor-made their resume for the position or not.
If you haven't adapted your resume to the job you're applying for, you may come across as lasy to the recruiter. You may even appear unsure or uncertain about the direction of your career. Make sure to read the job description carefully and incorporate relevant elements, like keywords, into your resume.
Avoid Commonly Used Terms
Imagine what it's like to be a recruiter looking through dozens of resumes. After a while, they will tire or bore of the same words used in the same manner. They will begin to filter out resumes that look too much alike.
Though it isn't necessarily easy, try to find alternatives to common terms and phrases. If you form the sentences on your resume in unusual (but effective) ways, it will grab the recruiter's attention. Additionally, a Google search on 'power verbs' will turn up some helpful options you can explore.
Demonstrate Your Willingness To Grow And Learn
An employee that shows a willingness to learn and grow will prove more valuable to the company long term. It shows that a candidate has goals that he or she is motivated to accomplish.
You may find it prudent to include any relevant training, certifications, presentations, and publications on your resume as well. You may want to include leadership roles you've had too.
Make It On-Point and Readable
A good resume needs to be concise and to the point. A recruiter doesn't necessarily want to read long descriptive paragraphs, especially if they are filled with words that essentially add nothing to the overall presentation. Adjectives (like 'excellent' and 'amazing') and buzzwords are generally overused and don't add anything to your resume.
In addition, your resume should be neat and organised. This is also a matter of readability. A good resume should be easy to skim and scan if necessary. Make sure to include sufficient white space.