To answer this question, we must understand the question itself. What do recruiters look on a resume at first glance? I have read through the first six web pages ahead of studentguide on Google SERP and it seems none of them understood the question. Not second or third but at first glance. This implies that after the first glance, the fate of a resume would be decided upon. This question demands a tentative answer.
The first thing to consider is the subject – The Recruiter. Who is recruiting? Knowing the name is good but knowing personality and current state as at the time of recruiting is hard if not impossible. A teacher who is angry over an incident and another who is happy will have a different approach to the way they deal with a student at that moment in time.
Now we look at the action – First Glance. It is straightforward action. Meaning after the first glance a decision is made. There is no easy way to know what recruiters look for in a Resume at first glance – No… We can only make assumptions based on our own personal experience. If we consider the background of recruiters, mental state, experience and work environment, we can conclude that they differ from each other in all aspect even to the point where the same workforce is required.
If we are to consider the Theory of Factor, personal experience will influence what a recruiter would look on a resume at first glance. If a job seeker wants to survive that awful first glance, every part of a resume should be placed on the same preference and since we cannot tell what each recruiter will look at first glance, it is possible to look into each section and give a credible view of why a recruiter might consider it as a first glance.
No doubt, 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 and easy navigation and within 1 to 2 pages except for curriculum vitae which could be as long as 10 pages. A set priority is a predefined goal towards a solicited or unsolicited resume. Setting priorities on the format of a resume are very rare but can be set by a recruiter’s ongoing experience. Your structure could help a recruiter decide if your resume is worth reviewing. A resume has no default format.
This comprises of your name, address, online presence, mobile number and job application title. 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 a 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 aligned with the job application title. If a recruiter cannot tell the position you’re applying for from your resume the trash bin will be welcoming.
Some say Career Objective, is outdated but I disagree. Career Objective is a predefined question on a resume: Why do you want to work with us? Career Objective is trickiest in a part-time or interim job. A recruiter who is concerned about your career objective will want a candid answer and one that is related to the job type and position. Career Objective 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 detriment. Your career object is your first selling point.
In a Resume, keywords are active essential words found within qualifications, career objective certifications, skills and abilities, experiences or achievements etc. Keywords in a Resume are words suited, needed or perhaps parts of a job opening position and ‘essential’ on a job seeker to be considered for an interview. A recruiter may glance first at this keywords, or use applicant tracking system to quickly search through. Control + F can also be used to initiate first glance. Thereafter, 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 the job advert required it. On my previous post about Getting a job, I wrote that age is not a limitation but an invitation. If you’re above or below the age limits but have all it takes, then submit your resume with a cover letter… If your cover letter is a good commando, 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 experience is usually considered when a good number of resumes survived the review stage. But it may be considered as the first point of contact if years of experience was part of the job advert.
Other things they may look at but not at first glance is:
- How Recruiters Read Through Resume/CV
- A Serious Question: Adding Personal Data to a Resume
- A New Approach to Work Experience on Resume/CV
- How Write a Better Resume with Reference and Hobbies
- How Fresh Graduate Can Get a Job in 2018
- 5 Common Mistakes in Resume
- How to Answer WAEC, NECO, GCE, JAMB Questions
- How to Calculate CGPA in Nigeria Universities
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers On NYSC CDS
- A Complete Guide to Education Scholarships in Nigeria