You submit a job application, your resume makes it past ATS, and it lands on the hiring manager’s desk.
I consulted with Career Coach Emily from HR Logic Solutions to learn the 5 steps every recruiter uses to quickly evaluate if a resume should be advanced to the interview phase.
At each step, she is looking for specific pieces of information. If she finds what she’s looking for, she advances to the next step. If she doesn’t, she moves on to the next resume.
Your goal is to make her job easy by delivering what she’s looking for, putting it where she expects to find it, and making it easy to read.
How Recruiters Read Resumes in 5 Steps
Step 1: Counting Fingers and Toes
The recruiter first scans the resume from top to bottom to verify the presence of all required components: work experience, education, credentials. This is a quick check-the-boxes scan.
Time: 2 seconds
Step 2: Verifying the timeline
The recruiter next scans the resume from bottom to top, checking the dates along the right margin. Are there adequate years of work experience? Are there gaps in the timeline that may raise a red flag?
Time: 5 seconds
Step 3: Resume Summary Section
The recruiter skims the resume’s Summary section. She’s looking for a job title that matches that of the target job, keywords that align with key qualifications for this job, and promises that the candidate solves business problems and generates results.
Time: 30 seconds
Step 4: Roles and Contributions
The recruiter skims the Professional Experience section to evaluate the candidate’s essential functions and how the candidate contributed to each organization. Does this candidate have experience doing what is required for this job?
Time: 1 minute
Step 5: Resume Deep Dive
Only after the resume has met expectations on all the previous 4 steps, will the recruiter take the time to dig into the resume’s bullet points and give them a closer read. Here she’s looking for accomplishments: teams built, revenue increased, sales made, processes improved, clients won.
Time: 3 minutes
That’s it! Now you know exactly what happens once your resume reaches a recruiter’s desk. Armed with this knowledge, you can make sure your resume delivers the right content for each step of the process.
As always, RedRocketResume is here to help you create an ATS-optimized, recruiter-pleasing resume that will get results. And if you’re looking for help customizing your resume or strategizing a career development plan, reach out to our partner team at HR Logic Solutions.