What Employers Look for in a Resume?

For the past 6 months, I have been riding the dreaded, maniacal JOB HUNTING roller coaster. I certainly didn't choose to re-enter this amusement park adventure at my age but extenuating circumstances have left me no choice. I don't enjoy standing in a queue with all the other qualified applicants and the feeling of being scrutinized over and over at my age is like hanging out at the booth with the man that is constantly boasting, I can guess your age, weight or height hoping he won't notice I am older than everybody else in line. I mean, seriously, who wants a 40-something employee (overweight, tired, stressed-out mom with potential schedule conflicts) when they can have a vivacious 20-something individual with similar qualifications, a tight butt AND zero baggage?

So, how do you compete in the race, knowing you are starting 10 paces behind? How do you sell yourself to potential employers without having to worry about age or other potential alarms going off that could make them cringe? Instead of trying desperately to look younger at an interview or spouting off half-ass reasons why a more experienced, mature person would be the best choice, use your experience and maturity to put your assets in writing. Ensure that your resume sets you apart as the best person for the job before the potential employer ever lays eyes on you.

What are potential employers looking for in a resume?

Do potential employers really read through every detail of all six of your past work experiences? Do they want to see previous jobs that have nothing to do with the current position you are applying for? Are they really going to call all the people you listed as references?

A job interview is like a first date

We all know how uncomfortable those dreaded first dates can be... fumbling, trying to find things to talk about, not wanting to give up too much background information but not wanting to bore them to death or seem standoffish. As bad as a first date/interview can be, the only thing worse would be enduring a "blind date". Your resume serves as your introduction; the ice breaker, so your potential employer knows something about you, knows your strengths and weaknesses before that first uncomfortable meeting. If you build your resume to promote yourself and sell your assets to prospective interviewers AND you research the prospective company, you can eliminate some of the discomfort of that first meeting.

Make Your Resume Stand Out

Human Resource departments receive countless resumes and cover letters and they see the same thing over and over again. Do you want to be the 17th person whose objective states that you want to secure a position with an established company? Can you afford to be the 43rd person to state that you are an honest, hard-working individual? Make your resume stand out! There are just a handful of formats used on most resumes but literally stacks of resumes submitted, so use an eye-catching design to bring attention to yours. Do not be over-the-top about it. Just add a professional flair that sets you apart from the countless others. Here is a great info : How to write a great cover letter for your resume.

Make a Connection

Employers want to see why you are the best fit for the position you are applying for. Why focus on a strong retail management background when applying for a hospital administrator position? Make a unique resume for each job you apply for with work experience relevant to the position.

Do Your Research

Include what YOU can do for their company. Take a few minutes to research each prospective company. Use keywords from the job description to tell about your qualifications.


Use numbers and organized data to tell how much you increased sales or customer traffic. Talk about specific things you brought to the company as an individual, again sticking to items relevant to the job being applied for.

The bottom line, number one thing employers are looking for in a resume is this: Do you have the skills to handle the job? It is your responsibility to use your resume to ensure that you have the skills to handle the job & to persuade them that their company NEEDS you.

Written By: Julie W., United States

Useful External Resources in the form of books:

The Overnight Resume: The Fastest Way to Your Next Job!
51 Ways to Find a Job Fast -- Guaranteed!
Find Your Dream Job: True Stories Guaranteed For Getting A Job You Love
Instant Interviews: 101 Ways to Get the Best Job of Your Life
Resume Writing Made Easy: A Practical Guide to Resume Preparation and Job Search
Knock em Dead Resumes: How to Write a Killer Resume

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice