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What do Human Resources (HR) Look for in a Resume


The resumes that are prepared by you reflect your personality. It’s more like your spokesperson who does the talking on your behalf. This certainly implies that unless and until your spokes person is well trained he/she cannot really represent you at par.

On the same lines a resume has to be properly polished, crisped and cutting across a recruiters mind.

A human resource manager would barely spend 20 seconds on your resume but in that 20 seconds a good resume should be able to hold on to the grip of the human resource making him feel the urge of meeting you in personal. There would not be a second resume check.What HRs look for

So what are the things that can keep a recruiter hooked to your resume till the very last line?

Well, there is a blend of different elements which are broken into several points in this article which would tell you “what do people look for in a resume?

Resume Check: What Does HR Look For In a Resume

1. Reflecting the relevant you:

As stated above, a resume should be able to reflect your persona aptly.

Like, if you are applying for a job in media field ensure that your experience, extrovert nature, participation, internships are highlighted instead of educational achievements.

Similarly, if you are going to apply for a job of an engineer, your academic results are supposed to hold greater importance than anything else.

So basically, you have to put forth that aspect of yours which is relevant to the job profile.

2. Bullet point forms:

A human resource manager cannot spend an entire day in reading your paragraphed resumes. The moment paragraphs occur it becomes a barrier of communication.

Therefore in order to keep the attention levels of the interest sustained, arrange your resume in pointers. Instead of writing all in one paragraph, break it down in shorter sentences presented in point forms.

For instance – while writing your strengths, simply write it in one word, leadership, quick decision making and so on instead of writing – I am a good leader. I can make quick decision in the times of crises.

3. Presentational Skills:

This is the most basic thing and yet overlooked by many of the applied candidates. Your resume should be undoubtedly grammatically correct.

There shouldn’t be any scope of even one punctuation error or spelling mistake. Remember, incorrect grammar and punctuation shows you in a bad light too.

Also that, the alignment of the heading, sub heading and pointers should be proper.

The resume is ought to be presentable even with just a glance at it.

Kindly ensure that whether it is a hardcopy or a softcopy grammar, punctuation, capitalization of the words, alignments are supposed to be crucial features of a resume and hence shouldn’t be over looked.

4. Creativity but in a professional manner:

Yes! These days’ recruiters are looking for a break from traditional formats of resume.

However, on one hand creativity is highly appreciated but, on the other hand creativity just doesn’t mean adding colors to your fonts, papers, tables and make it look tacky.

You must work towards the decency of the resume as far as possible and when it comes to creativity, it should be in your presentation skill of the resume.

5. Systematic presentation:

help in writing resume Always try to sort out each and every item of your resume in a systematic way. Like, there shouldn’t be a mixture of academic achievements and extracurricular achievements.

It is highly advisable to maintain as many sections as you can. This enables a human resource to quickly go through the section that his concern is more into.

The segregation of all the professional details, from education to experience helps in an easy read for the human resource and it happens to be much more impactful as well.

6. Detailed information:

Most of the candidates don’t pay the required amount of attention towards the resume.

Before you could begin to talk, your resume does the talking and therefore, a candidate must ensure that detailed information about him/her is provided in the resume.

For instance, in the experience section – do not solely mention the position and the company you have worked in, but also mention information like your responsibilities included and the period of time that you have worked there.

7. Subtle fonts:

No matter how greatly experienced you are, no matter how academically champion you are, if the fonts of resume is too big or too small, either with a handwriting that is least appealing or full of colors – the resume would go straight into the dustbin without even getting any consideration regarding the content.

Thus, be careful while choosing a font style. Avoid the usage of too big or too small fonts.

Opt the fonts which are sober in looks, like Arial black, Verdana, times new roman, Calibiri – these all fonts are formal, presentable and visually decent.

8. Highlighting the strengths:

A resume acts as an introducer of you. Resume is also synonymous to advertise yourself, that is the reason why it is also considered as a selling product.

While writing down your resume, assure that your strengths are aptly highlighted in the entire page. Whatever be your strong points should gather at the top of the page.

While reading a resume, the employer would get to see your plus points first making you set a good impression in his mind.

9. Genuine resume:

Since most of the recruiters these days do a thorough background check on social networking sites and cross check of your resumes as well, hence it is suggestive not to bluff in your resume.

You are not supposed to fake anything regarding your education or professional experiences.

Even a simple lie as – writing is my passion – might bring you to the end of your interview in the personal interview round. Therefore, no matter how lesser your grades are or how non experienced you are in the field. Honesty is the best policy.

10. Use of vocabulary:

text on resume Yes! Rich vocabulary is always a boon for the candidate but, one must avoid himself/herself from the usage of unnecessary jargons and higher level words.

First of all too many tough words acts as a barrier, and even if it doesn’t then also during the personal interviews their expectation might not go with the reality which can easily work against you.

Therefore, maintain a balance between a rich vocabulary and simple language.

11. Contact details:

Never ever make this mistake of giving away only one phone number. Understand this – you might lose the best of the opportunities only because your phone couldn’t be reached.

So, give at least two numbers along with your email id. If you have a LinkedIn profile, then provide the link of the same as well.

This not only gives them more scope to contact you but also shows your presence over the internet.

12. Hobbies and interest:

Keep a line or two for your hobbies and interests. Do mention your solitary interests like – singing, writing, jogging but also mention group activities that interest you.

This would tell a recruiter that you can perform in a group as well.

13. Feature your failure:

Yes! Failures are common but what is uncommon are the lessons that one gets to learn.

Listing in a line or two about the failures that you have faced in your past jobs or the drawbacks that you have encountered about yourself suggests that you are an “aware” person.

You should also mention what are the things that you have learnt due to these failures. This portrays you as a candidate who is well versed with himself/herself and knows how to take failures positively.

14. Focus on achievements:

Be a little descriptive regarding achievements and awards that you have received in your professional life.

You can also talk a little about your achievements in college festivals or such different events but make sure that it is in the context.

Focusing on achievements would enable the human resource to have a positive thought about you. So talking a little more elaborate about it is indeed a good idea.

15. Length:

Work on resume The length of the resume shouldn’t exceed two pages. A human resource wouldn’t be having time to go through each and every line. So, shorter the resume, crispier it would seem to be.

16. Attention towards details:

In the resume that you send to the human resource as a final copy there is no scope of any carelessness.

Not just the grammar or spelling errors but also the dates, names, years which are supposed to be taken care off.

A careless resume isn’t even brought under the consideration since it shows that you are really careless person.

Hence, once you prepare your resume, read it at least thrice and after that give it to somebody else to read it as well.

17. Over used terms:

Avoid! Avoid these overly used terms like – career objective: to work with best of my ability and seek my growth along the growth of the organization; this very first statement could ensure an enclosing of the door in front of you.

Try something which is honestly coming out from your heart, it could be as simple as – to understand the functions of the field and ensure my growth as an individual and society.” Write what you feel like, but do not copy paste or use repetitive phrases.

18. Provide a summary:

Take a bit more effort in summarizing your entire resume from objective to expectations in one paragraph in the end.

This will save the precious time of the employer and also help him in remembering vital information about you. This will help him/her in seeing if you match to the expectation or not. So providing a summary would indirectly make the process easier.

19. Stating other activities:

If you have travelled abroad or even if you were indulged in sports during your college time definitely mention it somewhere in the resume.

Travelling abroad would let them know that you are fine to get out of your comfort zone and take up challenges on the other hand sports activities would tell them that you can manage pressure quite well.

It will also show that you are not only an individual with a spirit to win in a group but also a candidate who is well aware of how to manage time.

20. Provide facts:

Dont lie on resume Do not be overly subjective. If you feel that you have done well to your previous organization then, state the facts.

The more quantitative terms you can provide the better are the chances of your consideration.

Instead of saying highly rich experience, one can directly state the number of years or months spent. This seems to add credibility to your profile more than anything else.

So, if state the number of projects handled by you, provide links of your published work instead of being merely subjective.

21. Provide links:

Try to understand that a human resource manager goes through numerous resumes a day and therefore saving his/her precious time would add to you points only. If you have any work published over the internet, provide them with the exact link.

Do not just state the site rather take them to the exact page through the URL where your work is published. This will lighten up their burden.

Many times it might also happen that you provide them the website but they are unable to find your published work. In order to refrain from such cases, take them directly to the page.

22. Google site and blog:

Currently MNCs are doing a strict background check. They need a candidate who is technologically advanced and knows the correct way of pitching himself/herself.

Do not forget to make a Google site of yours, a site which will contain detailed information about you.

The steps to create it are easier and you can find it on the net, along with the site a blog would complement your resume.

Provide the links of the both in your resume. This will make your resume look even better and dynamic. It will make you an efficient client for sure.

23. Difference in resume and CV:

The basic difference between a CV and a resume is that a CV is more of detailed. It required each and every detail of your education and profession whereas a resume is not like that.

It is an over view or a summation of your achievements, education and experience so keep it brief and relevant.

24. Specified format:

When world is becoming virtual resumes are replaced by e-resumes. These days most of the companies ask a resume via an email. Here, a candidate has to be careful regarding which format has asked.

Typically it would be in a PDF file. In case there is no mention, one must always make one’s resume in a PDF format. It is considered as professional and formal than word document or any other format.

25. Keywords of job description:

help in writing resume Read and twice re read the job description given by the recruiter. Take down the keywords from the given description and use it in the resume.

This boosts up your chances of matching the resume with the desired expectation as mentioned in the description. It will further enable your resume to get shortlisted for the further interview or test.

26. Quality:

Everyone is blessed with different qualities. Most of the resumes are built around some of the badly used qualities only even though there are lots of things that a human resource seeks in a candidate.

State your simple yet good qualities in resume like – good listening skills, observant, get over qualities like leadership and quick decision making.

Stating small and simple good qualities shows that you are a meticulous person, who appreciates small things in life.

27. Avoid negative information:

Do not state anything ill about your previous organization in your resume. This will spin at you only showing you as an employee in a bad light.

28. No pronouns:

Your resume is a document that talks about you. Yes, no doubts that it is talking about you on your behalf but at the same time usage of I, me, my – is not expectable. It doesn’t come under the way of writing a resume.

While referring to yourself you must ideally use third person like – his, her, an individual, a candidate and so on. This is a way of writing a resume.

29. Updated resume:

keep your resume updated always. This is the most vital thing to remember in your professional life. An old resume doesn’t interests the recruiter.

From the day of joining till the very last job of yours everything must be updated. This show how serious you are regarding your job and your professional life as well. Thus keeping an updated resume also adds up to your plus point.

A non updated resume is a sign of your careless attitude and in the professional field there is no scope for carelessness.

30. Do not insert any picture:

adding photo to resumeRecruiters are going to give you a job on the basis of your looks unless you are applying for modeling or acting.

In all the other jobs a resume is enough for the recruiter to decide if they want to call you for the interview or not therefore, avoid posting your any picture unnecessarily unless and until you are being asked for the same .

There is no requirement of your image; it is only your resume that has to be picture perfect and appealing to the human resource not your face.

Try to understand, you resume is the very first thing that creates a perception about you in the mind of recruiter.

Ensure that your resume is appropriately suitable towards the mentioned requirements as stated above. Once you get the crux of the matter, you are all set for your job!