What do recruiters like and dislike most about resumes? A couple of university researchers in Australia had nothing better to do than try to answer this question.
And I had nothing better to do than read the results of their study. The most impressive part of the study was that they convinced 68 managers and HR professionals
who didn’t have to to read a bunch of resumes and cover letters.
Resume Research Findings
When the readers LIKED a candidate it was, in order of importance, because:
- They had experience that was relevant to the job at hand.
- They liked the format of the applicant’s resume.
- The applicant met the qualifications (things like education, etc.) for the job.
When the readers NOT LIKED a candidate it was, in order of importance, because:
- They lacked experience.
- Their resume had a poor format.
- Their resume lacked information.
- Their resume lacked achievements.
- They had a poor cover letter.
What it Means for You
- You better have relevant experience.
- Your resume needs a good format.
- Tell your readers what they want to know and tell them about your achievements.
- Oh, and the cover letter? This study supports the notion that your cover letter can hurt you more than it can help you. Beware!
Source: The Impact of Competency Statements on Resumes for Short-Listing Decisions, Jim E.H. Bright & Sonia Hutton. International Journal of Selection & Assessment, Vol. 9, No. 2, June 2000.
I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Updated June 2017
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