7 Resume Points That Immediately Grab a Recruiter’s Attention

Did you know that—on average—recruiters and hiring managers spend only seven seconds reading your resume before signing you up for an interview—or tossing that precious piece of paper in the trash? That’s not a lot of time to impress a potential employer. But the slush pile doesn’t have to be your job-search fate. Dawn Rasmussen, certified resume writer and founder of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, along with Glassdoor’s own tips from its Ultimate Guide to Resumes, will help you craft a resume that’ll grab a recruiter’s attention.

1. Clear and concise formatting.

You may think that adding graphics or other infographic elements will make your resume stand out. But before your resume makes it to a recruiter, it will most likely have to pass through a computer scanning program, and those fancy shapes and symbols can confuse a computer. “If you’re sending your resume as an online submission,” Rasmussen explains, “those sexy graphics won’t make it through the software system that is set to scan through your document. In that case, it is important to have a graphic-less document so you can get through the software.” Another tip to get your resume into the right hands, literally? Scan the job description for keywords you can add to your resume, our guide instructs. If the job calls for a “self-starter,” a “leader,” or someone “eager to learn,” be sure to add those in.

2. Organized information.

According to Rasmussen, “ask any recruiter or someone tasked with looking at resumes day after day, and they’d say that most people do a horrible job organizing information.” By organizing your resume in a clear way, you’ll already be steps ahead of the competition.

There are many ways to organize a resume, but two good formats suggested by our guide are the chronological resume and the functional resume. In a chronological resume, you focus on “your recent work history above all,” our guide instructs. “List your positions in reverse chronological order, with the most recent positions at the top and the oldest ones at the bottom.” In a functional resume, your aim is to “emphasize the relevance of your experience,” according to our guide. “To create a functional resume, you’ll prominently feature your professional summary, your skills, and a work experience section organized by how closely the positions relate to the one you’re applying to. This format is best for those who want to minimize resume gaps, or are transitioning into a new industry.” You can also do a mixture of these styles, which is called—surprise!—a combination resume.

3. Defined sections.

No matter what kind of resume you decide to create, whether a chronological or functional resume, you will want to make sure each section is defined. “Guiding the reader through what you are going to discuss next is key,” Rasmussen explains. “They don’t want to be left guessing what you are discussing.” Mark each section of your resume in bold, she suggests.

4. Quantified results.

Don’t just say you increased your company’s sales—show how much you increased those sales with numbers, our guide instructs. “Use your resume to explain concrete accomplishments,” it says. “Make sure your statistics are consistent, percentages are properly pl