What Do Hiring Managers Look for on Resumes?

Your resume – and the strength of it – is vital to your job search success. And yet, hiring managers only take a few seconds to review each one they receive. You therefore want to ensure every word counts and that you’re able put your best foot forward with each one you submit to a potential employer.

Sometimes, though, that can be hard to do if you’re not really sure what hiring managers are on the lookout for. As one of Hartford’s leading employment agencies, Stewart Staffing can help. Here’s a look at a few key areas to include and avoid and why they’re important to a hiring manager:

The right skills and experience.

First and foremost, hiring managers are looking for those candidates who are a match in terms of their skills and experience. So, before you send in your resume, read through the job posting first and then tailor your resume around the company’s specific needs. Use keywords and language from the posting in order to make your resume as relevant as possible. Also, focus on the strengths, skills and accomplishments that will be enable you to perform the job you’re applying to.

An easy-to-read format.

When a hiring manager receives a resume, they expect it to follow a certain format. In most cases, it’s the reverse chronological one, starting with your most recent position and working your way back. In some instances, such as when you’re switching careers or just starting out, you might use a functional resume, which focuses more on skills and abilities and less on work history. In either case, though, your resume should be well formatted and easy to scan.

Red flags.

Have a lot of resume gaps? Are there misspellings and grammar errors on your resume? Are you using language that’s vague or full of clichés? These are all warning signs and red flags for hiring managers. However, with the right approach, they can be easily avoided, for an effective, reader friendly resume.

Career progression.

Whatever stage of your work you’re in, hiring managers want to see forward progress and a story that makes sense. Whether it’s through a promotion or added responsibility, this tells them that you’re career-focused, motivated to succeed and have a strong work ethic.

Your resume is going to take an investment of time to get right. However, once it’s polished and professional, you’ll be able to submit a stand-out one that gets noticed by hiring managers.

Need help getting interviews with a great resume?

Stewart Staffing is the place start. As one of Hartford’s trusted employment agencies, we’ll give you feedback and advice on how to best position your background on your resume, connect you with leads at top companies, and help you prepare for interviews, all so you can find the job you want. Contact us today to learn more.


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