What Do Recruiters Look for In A Resume At First Glance

To answer this question, we must understand the question itself. What do recruiters look on a resume at first glance? Not a second or third glance but at first glance. There is no easy way to know what recruiters look at first glance when a resume is picked up for review. Recruiters differ from each other in all aspect even to the point where the same employee is required. Experience has shown that recruiters will glance first at a set priority, reoccurring mistakes or any irrelevance capable of disqualifying a resume if there is persistence among previously reviewed resumes.

Every section of a resume should be placed on the same preference if a job seeker wants to survive that awful first glance. And since we cannot tell what each recruiter will look at first on a resume, it is plausible to look into some sections and indicate a credible view of why a recruiter might consider it as a first glance.

Your resume format is the first thing on sight. A recruiter may choose to ignore this if there is a set priority. Your format must be neat and free from colour riot and should present the contents of a resume without cluttering. To escape format dead end, a resume should be presented with a good font, bold sections, easy navigation and within one to two pages except for Curriculum Vitae which could be as long as 10 pages. A set priority is a predefined goal towards a resume pending review by an individual or organisation. To give priority to the format of a resume is very rare. Your structure can assist a recruiter to determine if your resume is worth reviewing.

This consists of your Name, Address, Contacts and perhaps your online presence. I had had my fair share of this awful first glance and likewise a friend. A recruiter whose first priority is to check for identity will trash up any resume without one at first glance. A recruiter who is more concern about location will ignore resumes outside the accepted radius not to mention those without identity. Your identity should be at the top of your resume.


Some say objectives are outdated, but I disagree. I still recall men who still cares about it. Objectives are trickiest in a part-time or odd-job opening. A recruiter who is more concerned about your career objective will want a candid answer and one that is related to the job type and position. Career Objectives has been watered down so much that job seekers just copy and paste anything they deem fit. If you don’t know what to write, then skip that part but to your own disadvantage.


In a Resume, keywords are active essential words found within qualifications, certifications, experiences or achievements, etc. Keywords in a Resume are words suited or needed or perhaps parts of a job opening position and ‘essential’ on a job seeker to be considered for an interview. Since it is impossible to glance at Keywords on first sight, Applicant Tracking System is deployed to perform such act. Control + F can also be used to initiate first glance. After that, other things will be considered. A resume with nice-looking structure without keywords will end up in a bin.


You should indicate your age if required on the job advertisement. This demand may be the first glance but on my previous post about Getting a job, I made mention that age is not a limitation but an invitation. If you are above or below the age limits but possess all it takes, then submit your resume with a cover letter… If your cover letter chronicles a legitimate story, your age may be ignored.


Previous Company and Experience
Alright, where is this fellow coming from… The reputation of a previous or current company is a vote to the credibility of a resume, especially if the company is a major competitor. And job experience is usually considered when a substantial number of resumes survived the review stage. But it may also be considered as the first point of contact if years of experience were part of the job advertisement.


Other things they may look at but not at first glance is:

I hope I answered the question.
Good luck.

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Written by Fatherprada

Obtained his B.sc in Library and Information Science from Delta State University. Loves Poetry but hate Mathematics so much that it deterred him from learning to programme. He hails from Ezionum - a teacher to a fault.

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