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What employers want

You can spend hundreds of hours creating and fine tuning your resume but how sure are you that all that hard work results in a resume that the employers would love to see. A perfect resume doesn’t just showcase your work; it is in perfect sync with the employers’ expectations, projects you as a right fit for the role and is easy to comprehend.

What employers want

Friday April 07, 2017,

5 min Read

What employers want -

What employers want -

We’ve identified the top six things that employers look for in a resume. This article will help you ensure that your resume is in sync with the employers’ expectations.

1. Keywords

First and foremost, employers see if you are qualified for the job. Hiring managers most of the time screen through your resume to see if it contains keywords that match the job description at hand. This is either done manually or using the simple search feature on the document.

It is therefore essential that your resume holds all the relevant keywords that are specific to your domain and expertise and place them strategically at different focus points on the resume so as to drive the employers’ attention. Leaving out some important keywords could prove disastrous because there is a possibility of your resume not being shortlisted due to lack of keywords.

2. Easy to read

Font type, size and margins are the key. Fonts that are too small or varying font types across the resume makes your resume a horror. Stick to one font size and maybe bolden the headers or use the next size to show prominence. Ideal font sizes are between 9 and 12 and easy to read and legible fonts are Calibri, Arial and Times New Roman. Stick to one of these fonts and you won’t go wrong. Again, do not mix multiple fonts in the same document. Two fonts on a document are acceptable.

Limit your resume to a single page and move to the second page if it is really necessary. Anything more than 2 pages is worthless because the interest reduces from 100% to 60% when the employer moves from page one to page two and reaches a near zero when they move to page three.

Some resumes look good on screen but don’t appear the same way on print. So ensure that you have done a print test of your resume before you send it out to the employers because there are employers who still take print of your resumes for screening and shortlisting.

3. Make it interesting

Employers’ come across hundreds of resumes for an open position and it becomes a monotonous task of screening through the pile and shortlisting them. This task is not as interesting as many other tasks they perform and monotony sets in. This is where you can make a difference by making your resume an interesting read. Use colors, use charts or graphs. Present the data in a manner which the employer understands better. For example, use a career timeline presented in a graph to show you continuity and stability in your career path or use icons to provide a better understanding of your technical skillsets. It is essential that you spark that interest in the employer through the outlook of your resume to ensure that their interest levels are high while reading your resume.

4. Present useful information:

It is obvious that the employers are looking for qualified applicants with a predetermined bunch of skill-sets which is needed for the role.

With this scenario, the question is how do you showcase through you resume that you are the best-fit for the role. The way to go about is to ensure that all the valuable information such as your experience, skill-sets and domain expertise are presented with prominence that it catches the employers’ attention. All this information should be on the face page of your resume in a position that it grabs attention. The resumes which get rejected are the ones where this information is not available or the information is placed in a way where the employers’ have to take that extra effort and find the same information.

Use power words and optimized keywords that are in sync with the job description and makes the employer feel that you have an edge over the other applicants and make them want to meet you.

Trash any useless information that is not going to make a difference to the employer in their decision-making process. Lines such as I love to sing or I love going on long drives or you being the cultural secretary of your school team isn’t going to make a difference to the employer who is screening your resume for the position of a software developer.

5. Sell yourself

Employers are not interested in knowing your KRAs at your previous employment, they are more interested in knowing what you bring to the table. Your achievements or areas where your being has made a difference is what will interest them. Take off information which is useless. If you are someone with over 15 years of experience, it is useless to mention what your roles and responsibilities at your first job were. It not only makes that part of your resume useless but it also makes it a boring read. A better way to present useful information is to list your achievements and accomplishments alongside your career timeline. This will project you as a winner.

6. Clean format

Its time you break away from the traditional format of resume writing and move to functional one. The resume should be written in a way where it does not break the flow in the interest level of the employer. The resume should progress in sync with the information that the employers look for. For example, starting with who you are, moving to your education, skill-sets and expertise and then telling them where you’ve worked in the past and what difference you’ve made there and then telling them on what you do for them if they hire you. This flow keeps the interest level going and by the end of the read, the decision is already in place. This takes away any ambiguity they might have in shortlisting your resume.

When your resume is the most important document in your professional life, it is essential that you provide the right importance in creating it and tuning it from time to time so as to keep it in sync with the market trends.

You may visit to see some of the bestselling sample resumes.