What Do Employers Look For In A Resume | Resume Tips


What do employers look for in a resume?

Hiring managers don't spend much time reviewing resumes. According to the statistic, 24% of them spend under 30 seconds on each resume. More importantly, employers look for certain things on resumes, and unless you're an HR professional, you might have a hard time trying to guess what really matters for them. In today's article, we've prepared a list of things that employers want to see in your application. By adding these details, you'll improve the quality of your resume and boost interview calls.

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Top 12 things that hiring managers want to see on a resume

Clean and easy-to-read format

The least thing an employer wants to do is getting through a poorly formatted document with large paragraphs, unclear abbreviations, and inconsistent formatting. Make sure the resume is consistent, contains the same font type, and uses bullet points rather than paragraphs.

Use professional English language, spell out the abbreviations, and opt for shorter sentences. Remember that the recruiter will skim through the document at the first place. Moreover, the ability to concisely present information is valued in many professions.

Consistent work history

The jobs you choose to put on a resume should be relevant to the job description. If you write it for a Marketing Manager role, it's absolutely pointless to include your early jobs as a salsperson, cashier, or a babysitter. Trying to include as many positions as possible is a mistake.

What recruiters want to see is a concise career path, preferably in the same area, so they could evaluate your related qualifications. If your work history has inconsistencies (say, you switched industries or even a profession), be sure to address this in your cover letter.

Years of experience in each position

Despite the gig economy is rising, most employers still pay attention to your tenure in each job. Job-hopping doesn't inspire confidence in employers, as they believe job-hoppers aren't used to working hard and climbing up the corporate ladder in the same company. Employers want to attract long-term employees who share the corporate culture and are aimed at gaining new skills and experience, as well as growing their professionalism.

Moreover, hiring and onboarding is costly for companies. So, they usually avoid investing in people who will work for a couple of months and leave. If job-hopping is your case, try and mask this issue by removing months from your employment date. Or, if you had a solid reason to quit after a few months, be ready to explain this issue to the recruiter.

Detailed responsibilities and accomplishments

Hiring managers search for candidates whose background matches the requirements of the job posting. Therefore, they scan the job titles, company names, and responsibilities. So, be sure to outline responsibilities and achievements should be described in as much detail as possible. Include the names of companies and the names of people with whom you've collaborated, and specific projects. When describing accomplishments, include figures to emphasize your impact. And finally, career consultants recommend making a different resume for each position to better match the job description.

Keywords and skills

When screening your education, skills and experience, recruiter search for specific keywords. As a rule, they look for keywords from the job posting to make sure your career is relevant. Read the job listing and highlight the keywords that apply to you, then use them on a resume.

In most cases, keywords mean skills, but they can indicate an industry or an academic degree as well. For example, an applicant for Marketing Manager position can use such keywords: content marketing, brand awareness, landing pages, SERP, brand consistency, social media platforms, promotional emails, campaign budget, etc.

General career progression

If the candidate applies for a managerial position, they should have 5-10 years of experience. Moreover, the employer expects to see a story of career progression that shows how your responsibilities grew as you moved up the career ladder. Ideally, you should also demonstrate a track record of accomplishments and people management.

In addition, recruiters pay attention to the tasks performed. Even if you worked for a large company yet the duties were different from what the company is looking for, they might not interview you.

Candidate's online presense

According to a survey, 70% of employers scan social media of candidates. They check your friends, community, interests and locations. An indication that you attend business events, lectures and master classes will be a huge plus. Also, it's a good idea to subscribe to specialized groups in your industry and participate in discussions.

On the flip side, frequent posting in working hours, participating in political or religious debates might turn off the recruiter. Career consultants also insist that swimsuit pictures or pictures with lots of alcohol should be kept out of the public profile.

Education and training relevant to the job

Some jobs have educational requirements. But even if this isn't the case with you, always include the degrees, certifications and courses under the Education section. They show your professional competencies and prove you are qualified for the role. Moreover, hiring managersng value candidates who continue learning and are aimed at professional development.

If you are a student or graduate, in addition to a degree, you may list relevant coursework and academic awards. In this case, education is placed at the top of the first page.

Additional skills

All things being equal, the employer is likely to prefer a candidate with a rich skillset. With the growth of remote jobs, a candidate has to be familiar with online collaboration tools such as Google Suite, MS Teams and others. It's great for an employer if the candiate doesnt' need to be teached. Some jobs also require knowledge of social media or basic coding skills.

Another thing employers look for is foreign languages. If you're a bilingual or know 2-3 foreign languages, be sure to mention it. By the way, all these skills are a solid reason to request a higher salary.

Error-free writing

59% of recruiters reject candidates because of writing errors. Typos, poor grammar, stylistic errors and other issues can turn off the hiring managers. Such mistakes often show that the candidate lacks attention to detail or communication skills that are must for most professions.

To avoid getting rejected, proofread the document by yourself or use online tools such as Grammarly. If English isn't your first language, consider hiring a professional editor to help you polish the content. Our website offers resume editing at a very low price, so you can take advantage of this service and get your resume checked and improved.

No lies and embellishments

According to the statistic, approximately 40% of candidates lie on resumes. Often, lying on a resume is walking on a thin ice. It is easy for an experienced recruiter to catch the lie and verify the authenticity of facts presented on a resume.

Today, it's possible to check all your jobs, degrees and other engagement with a couple of phone calls or by doing an internet research. And when the lie reveals, you are likely to lose a chance for a job. So, don't make the employer doubt your honesty.


Upon reviewing your resume, a hiring manager will want to hear about you from former employers or clients. Recommendations are always a good thing. The fact that you provide a list of people who can provide feedback about you builds trust.

However, prepare recommendations list carefully. Only include those who are likely to give a positive feedback about you, and ask people on your list what they plan to say if asked. Make sure that contacts are up-to-date before sending list of recoomendations to a hiring manager.

The most popular reasons for rejecting a candidate

Employers turn off candidates for many reasons. Here are just some of them:

• Lack of qualifications, relevant experience or knowledge for the role;

• The company found a better candidate;

• The employer suspended hiring for a vacancy;

• Lack of work experience in the industry or in a certain position;

• No necessary education, certification, or diploma;

• Candidate had high salary expectations that the company couldn't meet;

• The company's work schedule was inconvenient for the candidate.

Are you qualified but not interview calls? Talk to a resume writer

Hopefully, we've answered your question "What do employers look for in a resume?". However, when it comes to resumes, it's always helpful to consult an expert. At, we have writers who can write your resume from scratch, update an old one or adapt it for a specific job posting. In this way, we will help you feel more confident in your job search.

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