Resume writing from a recruiter’s point of view


It is not uncommon for a recruiter to have hundreds of resumes pass over their desk on a daily basis, so it is understandable why they just do not have the time to read through each document thoroughly or do the standard operating procedures correctly. A quick glance of no more than 15-20 seconds is pretty much all the time a recruiter will allow and if the content has not portrayed anything of relevance or interest will pretty much guarantee the end of the line for that resume.

Following are a number of strategies to keep in mind when developing your resume specifically for a recruiter.

Career Objective:

Many candidates still begin their resume with an (often) uninspiring objective which identifies what they are seeking in a new position – what they want. Unless this is a strongly worded statement that matches the position perfectly, a career objective can ruin any chances of your being extended an interview, as it fails to position you strongly against the specific requirements of the job. Rather than an objective, consider using a professional profile.

Professional Profile:

This should be a well written overview of your qualifications, experience and accomplishments, portraying the overall value you bring to the table against the position’s criteria. As your profile is your introduction it must showcase your expertise perfectly. Failure to do this can potentially cause the recruiter to loose interest. If worded effectively, you will have piqued their attention, prompting them to continue reading your document further.

Employment History:

Professional experience should be detailed in reverse chronological order with your most recent position listed first and working your way backward. For a candidate with 20+ years’ experience, I caution you not to list every single role, but rather the last 10-15 years of relevant experience. Anything longer is generally considered too old and irrelevant.

Avoid providing a shopping list of accountabilities and job tasks, which is guaranteed to put the recruiter to sleep. Rather, identify your accomplishments and strategic initiatives you implemented to demonstrate your positive impact on the organization, plus allow you to distinguish your experience from your competitors’.


List your academic achievements in order from the most recent higher level qualification through to the least. Ongoing professional development, in-house training, workshops and seminars can also be listed under a separate category to confirm your commitment to expanding your knowledge and keeping current with industry trends within a constantly evolving workplace.

Hobbies / Interests:

Unless the interest coincides with the position you are applying for, leave this section out. While this may seem like harmless information that tells a little about you on a personal level, listing interests that require solitary involvement when you are applying for a role that requires extensive teamwork can potentially raise a red flag. You get the picture.

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