How To Get A Recruiter To Read Your Resume

By Rhys Metler Toronto-based Recruiter

On any given day, most of us recruiters have a pile of resumes to review. We’re usually searching for specific skill sets or for experience that matches our clients’ requirements. If we don’t see anything of interest right away, what do you think we do? Move on to the next one, of course.

So how can you make your resume credentials stand out? Here are some simple tips about what we look for.


Start at the top of your resume.

• Clearly list your name and contact details at the top so we can get in touch with you.
• Start with a strong opening summary. Think of it as your 30-second elevator pitch – but in 50 words or less. State what you do, what you’ve accomplished and why you’re unique. Catch my attention here and it’s more likely I’ll keep reading!

Customize your resume.

• Understand the position you want and tailor your resume to it.
• Make sure that your resume clearly highlights that you have the skills required for this role and then back it up with your actual experience.
• This is no time for a one-size-fits-all approach.

Capture the keywords on your resume.

• Identify the keywords from a job description for the type of position you want and scatter them effectively throughout your resume, (but only if they reflect your actual skills and experience.) Even if recruiters merely scan over your resume, your keywords should jump out.
• Also, we often enter resumes into searchable databases. Adding keywords gives your resume a better chance of getting noticed in our searches.

Talk about accomplishments, not tasks.

• Listing your job responsibilities is boring and doesn’t differentiate you. Focus instead on your personal achievements in that role. That’s what we want to see.

Paint a picture of your skills by numbers.

• Did you achieve measurable results in your previous roles? Then state the numbers or indicate the criteria used to determine success and how you measured up.

Short and sweet … but not too short.

• Keep your information clear, succinct and easy for us to read. Don’t worry about squeezing it onto one page if it means cutting out important details or if it looks too crammed.
• Two pages are fine if your strengths are clearly identified and there’s value to the content.

Save your photos for Facebook.

• Don’t include a photo. Just don’t.

No typos, spelling mistakes, and goofy grammar.

• Check it once … twice … three times … and then get someone else to read it over as well.

Match your LinkedIn profile to your resume.

• Almost all recruiters and hiring managers check LinkedIn now. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is consistent with your resume.
• If you’ve customized your resume for a specific position, modify your profile so that it echoes a similar tone.

As recruiters, we’re looking for the best candidates with the right experience for our clients. Following these tips should help you get your resume noticed.

IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have teams of specialist recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations, Energy, Mining & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.