Each recruiter will only spend about six seconds skimming a potential applicant’s resume. Six seconds. While conveying your persuasive work history in this length of time could seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Recruiters who read resumes aren’t doing anything surprising: if your resume seems like it could persuade a hiring manager, they’ll forward it on. If it doesn’t, they’ll reject it. It’s that simple. Here are five things to include to ensure your resume makes it into the “yes” pile.

What do recruiters look for in a resume?

1. Include key data points

A recruiter spends most of her time – 80%, in fact – looking at your basic information, like your current title and company, your work history, the length of time you worked at your previous job, and your education. If you don’t include this kind of relevant information, a recruiter isn’t likely to pass your resume on to a hiring manager.

2. Have a clean and easy-to-read resume

With such limited time to review applicants, a recruiter isn’t going waste time deciphering your resume. To make it easy to read, follow a few simple resume font rules. First, don’t use too many typefaces; limit your resume to two. Second, don’t decrease the space between your lines to make your resume shorter. And, finally, don’t overuse bold font.

3. Use accomplishment statements

Accomplishment statements are quantifiable variables that demonstrate to a recruiter that you did your job well. Instead of simply listing job duties, you should include accomplishment statements that talk about how you performed your previous job. Try listing accomplishments involving time or money.

4. Show your motivation

All employers want their new hires to be inspired by the company – to really want it more than all other applicants. Demonstrate your interest by including your motivation and enthusiasm behind applying to the job in your resume’s summary statement. A summary statement demonstrates how your qualifications meet the employer’s needs, but also why you are excited about the company and the position.

5. ATS-friendly keywords

To get recruited, you have to make sure a recruiter actually finds your resume. ATS will scan through resumes to make sure the keywords from the resume exactly match the keywords desired by the employer. Before you submit your resume to a job board or career site recruiters are likely to peruse, optimize your resume with Jobscan. Jobscan scans a job posting and your resume, and helps you to optimize your resume for ATS.  

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