Resumes & Cover Letters

8 Resume Dos and Don’ts According to Recruiters

Written by Jessie Liu

The best way to write an effective resume has changed over the years. Today’s resume is more focused, and new ideal items have been added and dropped, according to recruiters. Knowing how to write an effective resume makes it more likely you will be considered for that perfect job position.

These recruiter tips can help when you’re applying for a job by giving your application a higher chance of being considered.


1. Skip the Fancy Formatting

Many recruiters who work for large companies see resumes via a tracking system that loads a resume as simple text. These recruiters do not see your fancy formatting. In fact, all that effort you went to may adversely affect the text the recruiter sees, so keep your formatting straightforward unless you send your resume as a PDF file. Recruiters for large companies can ask you to send a formatted version if you get introduced to the hiring manager, so keep a fancy version of your resume if you are called upon to send it.


2.Use the Company Name

Recruiters like to know you are actually interested in their specific company. Do a little research and include in your cover letter why you would be a perfect fit for that particular company. Use the company name two times, not just once, to show you are serious. Recruiters say they appreciate that extra effort, which shows that it isn’t just a blanket resume used for different businesses.


3. Leave Out Personal Details

Including a photo with your job application can actually make a recruiter uncomfortable. In addition, the recruiter does not care that you are married or have 2.5 children. Nor does the recruiter want your health history. Unfortunately, many applicants include this information on a resume. Leave it out unless you are applying for a job as a model or actor.


4. Make Sure You Qualify

One good idea is to go through the job listing and match your resume qualifications with the requirements listed in the job description. This way, recruiters know up front if you qualify for consideration. Do not assume that all qualifications are listed—the job listing may be simply a standard template or the listing may be dated. During your interview, you have to opportunity to add to your qualifications to show you are a perfect match for the job.


5. Keep Your Resume Short

Recruiters are not interested in reading a nine page resume. They prefer to know right away if someone is qualified for a job. Keep it down to one page, and list what’s most important.


6. Leave Out References

The old style of resume usually included listing two or three references for a job. However, references take up space that could be better used for other things. Once you get a job interview, the recruiter can ask for references if he or she is interested.


7. Don’t Include Age

Older workers may think they’ll be bypassed for a job because of age. However, this is untrue, particularly if a worker is well-qualified for the job. Just leave out your age. If the recruiter does ask, you probably don’t want to work at that job.


8. Be Willing to Relocate

Many people apply for work in other cities, as people have become more mobile and pursue a job instead of a location. If you’re applying away from your home base, it may be a good idea to include your willingness to relocate. This shows the recruiter that you are serious about the position.

About the author

Jessie Liu

Jessie Liu is a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, Digital Analytics, Content Marketing and Social Media. She helps lead TheJobNetwork’s content marketing efforts, including content strategy and promotion strategy. She believes in data-driven decision making. She recently adopted a Beagle mix puppy named Happy. Feel free to tweet her @jessiecliu for pictures of her adorable new puppy or just any marketing related stuff.