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This Is Exactly What Hiring Managers & Recruiters Look For When Scanning Resumes

Posted by Amy Elisa Jackson

Last Updated September 1, 2017
|3 min read

We're going to let you in on a little secret: the average recruiter or hiring manager spends 6 seconds reading a resume.

That's right. 6 seconds. You've got just moments to make a lasting impression and make sure your resume lands in the "Yes" pile as opposed to the "Rejected" stack. Luckily, you've got Glassdoor to help you make the most of every last second. Not only do we have tips for making your resume stand out, but we've also got the inside scoop from those who hold the key to your job future.

We reached out to some of the industry's top talent acquisition specialists to get the truth on what impresses them in those first few seconds of looking at a resume. Here's what they said they look for when scanning a resume. Take notes, and make sure your resume would pass the six-second test.


"When I look at a resume, the first thing I notice is if it's well organized and formatted. If I'm unable to read a resume easily, I likely won't look at it for very long." —Jamie Hichens, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition

"Resume is easy to follow - we don't have a lot of time to decipher qualifications. The easier a resume is to read and follow, the better. Simple and consistent formatting helps!" —Karen Whyte, Senior Recruiter

Appropriateness for Role

"Relevancy to the job description and requirements. We get candidates that apply to jobs that are completely incompatible with their backgrounds or skill sets so it can really clutter up our pipelines."  —Karen Whyte, Senior Recruiter

"I look for a candidate with the relevant experience at the right companies who gives everything a shot and doesn't quit after being in a role less than a year." —Nick Benza, Sales Recruiter

Evidence of Business Impact

"Once I dig in, I'm looking for relevant titles and skills that align with the role I'm trying to fill. I like to see concrete examples of actual work/projects they've done and accomplishments." —Jamie Hichens, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition

"Stats or concise statements that quantify the work they have done are key. Plus, involvement at college - groups, clubs, work, sports, greek life and so forth." —James Parker, Talent Acquisition Partner

"Accomplishments are great on resumes - listing out a small accomplishment one may have contributed in any given role." —Karen Whyte, Senior Recruiter

Job History

"Length of time spent at each job - are they a job hopper, are they entry-level or more senior in their career." —Karen Whyte, Senior Recruiter

"Relevant experience, relevant companies - specifically the tech sector- are highly preferred." —Nick Benza, Sales Recruiter


"Your resume should highlight the requirements of the job to which you are applying. Review the job description and add in areas of experience we may be seeking." —Karen Whyte, Senior Recruiter

"Content that does not relate to the job and does not address what qualifications a candidate has for a job can absolutely eliminate a candidate who may have accomplished many of the tasks that job is looking for, but was not articulated in the resume." —Elizabeth Harrison, Senior Recruitment Partner at Decision Toolbox

Complementary Online Profile/Resume

"It's great to see LinkedIn profiles that are engaging and built out with lots of detail. Added bonuses are resume attachments, project work, videos or blogs." —Karen Whyte, Senior Recruiter

"A summary of their overall skills and achievements, as well as a professional photo are important here." —Jamie Hichens, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition


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