How do you go from being one of 100’s of applicants to the top of a recruiters list? The answer lies within your resume. No really! There are essential things on a job applicant’s resume that every recruiter looks for when siphoning through the stack. And we know what you’re thinking…what are we talking about? What are the crucial elements needed to secure your way to the interview and eventually job? We’re sharing below the 8 must-have items recruiters want to see on your resume. Consider this list your job search golden ticket (Willy Wonka Factory Tour not included). 

1. Hook, Line and Sinker

Keep recruiters interested from the start. Typically when a recruiter is reading your resume, you have mere moments to secure their interest. Turn your summary into your elevator pitch. Utilize the space at the top of your resume with a hook to demonstrate your right for the job. If you only have a minute to stand out in the stack, keep that in mind as your crafting your statement. Recruiters will look at your summary to determine if you’re a great fit for this position or other potential roles within the company.

2. What’s Recent is Relevant

We understand that during this time, many job seekers may have a potential gap between roles and recruiters understand that too. That’s why it is still important to highlight your most recent role even if it is a position you are no longer in. Recruiters want to get an understanding of how long you have been in a role and how it relates to the position. Focus your resume on including your most recent and relevant experience. Which segways us to the next must have item…

3. Experience, Experience, Experience

It goes without saying that your resume would be nothing without your experience. Literally it would be a blank paper, with your contact information and skills. What recruiters want to see in your prior job experience is the relevance of how it relates to the role that you are applying for. Your career progression, levels of responsibility, and title roles play a factor. If you led a project while managing a ten person team, share that. And here we have another segway… 

4. Specificity is a Necessity

When you are listing your relevant experience, don’t shy away from the details! Recruiters like to see the specifics of your success within each role. Did you help your company achieve record growth? Great! By how much? Did you lead a successful campaign? Amazing, what was the ROI? Everyone’s specifics will be different depending on each role. Keep your job resume succinct to avoid multiple pages and specific to get to the point. 

5. Spotlight Your Skills

Shine a light on your skills. Not in the Batman beacon sense, but you catch our drift. Your skills are crucial for a recruiter to understand not only your experience but what other tools you can bring to the shop. You can take your skill highlighting one step further but including your expertise level. No matter, the skill, share the experience by noting your beginner, intermediate or advanced level of knowledge. It gives a little bit more insight into your qualifications and goes a long way. 

6. The Elements of (Your Resume) Style

One major and relatively new way to be at the top of the list comes down to your style. We’re not talking about your fashion choices. Recruiters sift through a number of resumes daily, so in a stack on white paper, what will stand out the most? Ditching the basic resume style of yesteryears and choosing to add some style to your CV can make a huge impact and recruiters love to see it. This is especially true for those applying for the creative field. Choose to add some color and professional flare to your resume as a show of your personality. There are a number of platforms that provide great resume templates like and 

7. Grammar Matters

A huge pet peeve for recruiters is poor grammar and punctuation on your job resume. Even something as small as over-indenting can become a negative factor when considering an applicant. Use free plug-in tools like Grammarly to avoid spelling and punctuation mistakes. Because one incorrect use of your vs. you’re will be the difference between a yes vs. no of you getting the job.

8. Keywords are Key

Many recruiters use recruiting software to identify candidates that have applied online. Why? Because oftentimes a recruiter has multiple roles to fill with hundreds of applicants to get through. Meaning: Finding your resume is like being a stuffed animal in a Crane Claw game, without keywords, your ideal skills are likely to get lost in the pile. The remedy? Include keywords for your position in your experience and skills section. Look at the job description for the role you are applying for thoroughly and see what words are repeated or emphasized the most. These are the words you’ll want your resume to have and what will help their system identify you as an ideal candidate. This is the final must-have resume item, but certainly equally important as all of the others.

We wish you the best on your job search and hope these helpful tips lead to your career success.