Recruiting Tips: How an Employer Evaluates a Resume

Glassdoor has done research among recruiters. The main goal was to understand what recruiters are looking at on a resume and how much time they spend. The study used the technology of mouse tracking – the statistics of the movement of the cursor across the screen is analyzed.

The results are as follows:

  • Personal information – up to 3 sec.
  • Job title – 1 sec.
  • Career goals – up to 5-8 sec.
  • Key information – up to 12-15 sec.
  • Last or current place of work – 15-17 sec.
  • Previous place of work – 8-12 sec.
  • Earlier place of work – 5-8 sec.
  • Fourth place of work and further – 3-6 sec.
  • Education – up to 3-5 sec.
  • Languages ​​- 3-5 sec.
  • Courses, trainings, certificates – 5-8 sec.
  • Additional information – 7-10 sec.

The study also showed that, on average, recruiters spend 85 seconds on initial acquaintance with a resume. After that, recruiters either close the resume permanently, or save it for a closer look.

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What the recruiter pays attention to in a resume

Here, we’ve put together tips from the experts at Find My Profession and recruiting feedback from Glassdoor’s research.

recruiter checks a resume


At first glance, a recruiter notices the design and layout of the resume. If the text is not divided into blocks and sections, but looks like a single long read, it is more difficult to read. It’s great when HR can quickly go over a resume and look at the data they need, rather than looking for information in the text.

In 2017, Glassdoor asked recruiters and HR to share how they view resumes. Some recruiters spoke confidently about the importance of paperwork:

“When I go through a resume, the first thing I notice is how well structured and formatted it is. If I can’t read my resume quickly, I probably won’t go through it for long. ”- Jamie Hichens, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager.

“We don’t have much time to study the resume in detail. The easier it is to read and view a resume, the better. ”- Karen White, Senior Recruiter.

Of course, the main thing is the content, but the design is something that recruiters also pay attention to in the resume.

Job matching

The main task of a recruiter is to find a candidate suitable for the requirements for the position. It is on the candidate’s compliance with the position that the HR specialist pays attention to in the resume. Usually, a recruiter looks for keywords or phrases that he himself used when writing a vacancy – this is a hint for you to write a resume.

We advise you not to mindlessly apply for all vacancies in the hope that at least one option will shoot. An individual approach is always cooler. Edit your resume for each vacancy and the recruiter will see that for you their company is not one of hundreds of others.

Achievements and results

Instead of listing your day-to-day responsibilities at work, write on your resume about work accomplishments:

  • the number of attracted clients or partners,
  • the amount of transactions,
  • number of trainings or presentations conducted,
  • results of launched advertising campaigns or proposed initiatives,
  • views of your articles or the time frame in which you launched the application.

The employer pays special attention to the results of work in the resume. From them, he can understand how you will be useful to the business. Recruiters interviewed by Glassdoor confirm this:

“I am looking [in the resume] for the necessary skills that fit the role. I love seeing concrete examples of real work and completed projects. ”- Jamie Hichens, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager.

“Statistics or a summary of quantitative performance are key information. I also pay attention to the activity during my student years. ”- James Parker, talent acquisition specialist.

Career path

Of course, recruiters definitely pay attention to work experience in their resume. Several points play an important role here: the length of stay at each job, the correspondence between the experience of the current vacancy and the scope of activities of past companies.

Too short-term work makes you think about the reasons: you did not cope with the tasks, were unable to join the team, or ran away from the first difficulties? Of course, the reasons can be harmless, but the recruiter does not know about them. Consider whether to include information about two weeks of work experience, if it is not an internship or internship.

“If during the last 4 years you have changed 6 jobs, you are not suitable for us. There may have been good reasons for changing positions frequently, but I only look at such resumes once, and it takes me 3-5 seconds, ”- Brad Remillard, hiring specialist, writer, speaker.

Also, the HR specialist pays attention to the resume who you worked with before. If the previous position is similar to the vacancy – well, if not – the recruiter will think about how you will do the job.

For some companies, it is important that their employees are knowledgeable in a particular area. For example, so that the sales manager previously worked in the sales of mobile advertising. The recruiter will also look at this in the resume.