What do employers look for in a resume: 6 crucial things

August 20, 2021

What do employee look in resumes

Most of the time we tend to create and build our resumes according to what we feel and what we think is the best to mention. However, employers and hiring managers might have a different perspective on what information is the most important for them to read in a resume. To avoid any hiring mistakes they pay attention to every detail in the process, so being remarkable takes doing some hard work crafting your resume.

While it is good to mention skills and qualifications you believe to be necessary, it is also good to make sure to mention points that the potential employer might find to be significant as well. But how can you know what do employers look for in a resume? How to get in their head and make sure you got the chance to present yourself better during the interview?

The truth about what do employers look for in a resume

Following are some pointers on what employers look for in a resume. Including them will steal the recruiter’s attention and will significantly increase your chances of getting an interview.


Potential employers and hiring managers tend to skim through resumes and look for specific keywords that match the job description. By doing so, they manage to shortlist many applicants very quickly, after which they can be thorough with the selection. Because of this, you need to make sure to read the job posting in great detail and note down any keywords that might seem important and closely connected to the job itself.

For instance, if the job posting is a retail-related job and requires you to have at least 2+ years of job experience, then you must highlight your previous retail experiences above others and also make sure to point out the ones that meet the ‘2+ years’ requirement.

If you do not meet any of these requirements or you do not meet the 2+ years requirement then it might be better to look for other job positions that are open to accepting those with fewer years. This way you might have a higher chance of being selected.

Resume formatting

One thing that hiring managers might strongly dislike, according to Walden University, is when your resume formatting is disorganized and not an easy read. If your resume is not tidy and does not clearly state your previous and current job experiences along with other details e.g., skill set, then it might just end up in the toss-it pile

With so many other people competing to land the same jobs you are going for; you must make sure to appeal as much as possible in order to be a higher quality candidate. If you do not know how to properly format a resume, then a good resource to go for resume formatting is ResumeBuilderPro.

Resume Builder guides you on how to not only create and build a resume successfully but also provides countless free templates along with constant advice on how you can improve certain parts of your resume while building it. Not to mention, you are able to create and store countless different resumes meant for different job postings. 

Career timeline

Potential employers tend to consider how your professional life has progressed and what kind of timeline you have gone through. The career story you portray to your employers must be a coherent one, not a fabricated one with plot holes because hiring managers will always be able to sift through the embellished resumes.

It is of the utmost importance that you first list job experiences that are relevant to the job posting you are applying for.

However, job experiences that might be 10 years old or so, are better left off from the resume because this will convey a rather large gap between your job experiences. And a big gap in unemployment might be something that hiring managers would be concerned about. So, it might be better to primarily list your recent and current experiences in order to create a more coherent and concise story to appeal to employers. 


What skills you possess and how you have utilized them in your previous and current job experiences tend to be an important factor that potential employers and hiring managers look at. The professional skills you state in your resume should be relevant to the job posting you are applying for, and especially highlight your existing skills that were specifically asked for in the job description.

Having matching skills as in the job description bumps you up as a higher quality candidate as you have exactly presented what the employer is looking for. Indeed mentions how two different types of skill sets exist: soft skills and hard skills.

Soft skills refer to your interpersonal communication, organization, and attention to detail, whereas your hard skills are more related to specialized skills and knowledge of a particular industry e.g., graphic designing, software, business management.

Therefore, when mentioning the specialized skills asked by the employer and those which you possess, along with complimentary soft skills, it will surely aid you in landing a job.


What do employers look for in a resume is an exaggeration of a candidate’s skills. Many times, people tend to embellish and exaggerate their skills, work experience, qualifications, etc., in order to come across as a high-quality candidate, and this is something that potential employers pay close attention to. Such exaggeration does not sit well with hiring managers and might land your resume in the ‘rejected’ pile without a second look.

It is always best to appeal to your employers with your true skills and experience presented in the best way possible. As hiring managers are experts in their field, they will be able to figure out embellishments and weed out those applicants without much effort, so always tread carefully and truthfully in this respect.


It is never a wrong move to revise your resume a few times over because we, at times, skip over mistakes without even noticing. These mistakes then come forward after having read your resume a few times.

Another good method of revising is to read out loud what you have written. By doing so, it will help you easily spot spelling and grammatical errors, not to mention, it will also help you spot awkward sentences that might need to be rewritten.


It can get confusing thinking about what do employers look for in a resume, and trying to create the best resume possible, can cause a bit of stress. It is always best to take your time, and carefully build your resume and do loads of revision in order to hand in your best and most satisfactory version of your resume. Always advisable to remain calm and be persistent.

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