Three Items Employers Look For In Resumes

Jan 7 2011 in Featured, reCareered Blog, Resumes by Phil Rosenberg

job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career advice

Have you submitted a resume and wondered why you didn’t even get a call, when you felt that you were a perfect fit? Have you ever had the feeling that your resume was buried in a database and not even being read by human eyes?

Chances are your resume didn’t demonstrate all three items an employer looks for. Even in the pre-screening process, databases/recruiters/HR staff are instructed to search for these three items, based on the criteria the hiring manager gives.

If you can clearly present these three items in your resume, you greatly increase the odds of gaining an interview. But what are they?

  1. Can the candidate solve the specific top problems I have today? An employer is searching for evidence that you can solve their unique top problems. The best way you can demonstrate that you can solve their top problems is by clearly demonstrating that you’ve already solved similar problems. Most resumes do a poor job answering this question, as most candidates create resumes that demonstrate general problem solving skills rather than solving the unique top problems a specific employer has today. Learn more about how to demonstrate that you’ve solved similar employer problems in “Employer Value Statements Make Your Resume Sizzle” at

  2. Can the candidate build shareholder value? Outside of the non-profit world, a company is willing to pay an employee because they believe you will make them more money than they pay – You are an investment. The best way you can demonstrate that you’re a profitable investment is to demonstrate how you’ve already built shareholder value for past employers and clients. Most candidates forget this notion, writing a resume that focuses on what they themselves want (WIFM) or a resume that describes how they spend their day (responsibilities based resume). Learn how to instead focus on what the employers wants in “Job Seekers – Tell your readers WIFT (What’s In it For Them)” at

  3. Will the candidate fit in with the company’s culture? While this is really answered during the interview, your resume gives clues about how you’ll fit in with the company’s culture. But because these clues are so limited because you’re not there in person, language found in most resumes serve as disqualifiers rather than qualifiers. Here are some ways to make your resume’s language position you as a top candidate before your face-to-face interview, instead of disqualifying you.

So look closely at your resume…better yet have someone else look closely at it. Instead of asking the generic “What do you think?” ask your reviewer to view your resume as a specific targeted employer would and lay out the background details.

Then ask … Does your resume clearly answer the employer’s three basic questions?

Readers – I’d appreciate employers and recruiter comments on this topic, so candidates can share your experiences points of view.


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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