Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What employers look for in a resume

Writing a resume is stressful. It’s your first impression with the hiring manager, and you need to impress them enough to land an interview. That’s a lot of pressure! Don’t worry- we’re here to help.

Our expert recruiters at CFS gave the top 5 things employers spend their time looking for on a resume:


Executive Recruiter – Shelton, CT
“When you’re putting your resume together, my advice is to tweak it for every job you’re applying for. One real key fact that I tell all my candidates when interviewing them is that nowadays you don’t have to keep your resume to one page, so put as much detail as possible on your resume that will put your best foot forward.

When you apply to a job posting, employers are looking for keywords and if they don’t see them then you’ll be at a disadvantage and you won’t get that initial meeting. Getting that initial meeting is the hardest part as it lets the company see who you are past what you are on paper. So, if you use those keywords, the better chance you’ll have for a face to face meeting, at which point you can sell yourself.”

Executive Recruiter – Pittsburgh, PA
“Your experience should always show career progress. The best thing is to write a summary at the top of your resume or you can do a 30 second commercial about your background that summarizes who you are and what you bring to the employer. Companies are always looking for those summaries that stand out and that are able to sell yourself in just 30 seconds. That’s all it takes.”


Executive Recruiter – Bethesda, MD
 “When I look to match a candidate to a job, I look at the quality of their resume. I analyze the time they spent at each job and always ask why they left their previous job. These two factors help me understand how they function in a work environment. When I speak with companies, I always make a point to ask what they’re looking for in a person, in a manager, and in a leader.

I’m also looking for someone who is vested in working with me and who dedicates their time and energy into working closely with me. That shows me passion and dedication right there! If they don’t have time to hop on a call and talk about a position or company, then they aren’t worth it.”


Executive Recruiter – Denver, CO
“I know a big challenge with resumes is that they are subjective. That said, there are a few common things that I have found that turn off most hiring authorities. A good clean formatted resume, with straight and direct bullet points, and clear dates of employment are key. Another small thing that I see all the time is inconsistent tenses. Lastly, I would say starting each bullet point with a powerful action verb is impactful.”

Personal Brand

Executive Recruiter – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
“As cliché as it may sound, honesty is always the best policy! The intangibles are just as important as the tangibles. If you misrepresent yourself during the interview process, it could result in you being unhappy down the line. It is very important to be yourself during an interview, and remember that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. Remember the company culture can make a big difference in overall job satisfaction.”

Have questions about creating a great resume? Comment below or find the closest CFS location to you here to contact one of our expert recruiters!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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