Candidates: What are recruiters looking for in your resume?

As you know, most recruiters give a very quick first look at the CV (on average 7 seconds). It is therefore up to the candidate to target his CV and add the keywords that the recruiter will be looking for, it is often said that the first impression is the most important, and in the recruitment process, this is absolutely true.

The first thing the recruiter looks for in your CV: Experience

Your previous positions, the missions you have carried out, the duration of your employment contracts, what 42% of French recruiters will look for in your CV in the first place. For each significant experience, you must indicate the concrete results you have obtained.

The most recent work experience is indeed a good anchor for judging a candidate, so make sure that the accomplishments that you will highlight through this work experience correspond to the skills required in the coveted position.

Candidates must be precise and brief, sum up the essence of their experience in one paragraph, and avoid long explanations.

The second thing that the recruiter looks for in your CV: The position sought and consistency with its environment

The position sought, ideally, will be the title of your CV, will attract the eye of the recruiter, especially if it corresponds to the position offered. Then, the recruiter usually checks whether you have experience in the relevant environment. For a works supervisor, for example, we will look at whether he worked in public works/roads and utilities, in civil engineering, in railway infrastructure, telecoms or, in a tertiary or industrial environment… It is a question of knowing whether the candidate will have prior knowledge of the ecosystem in which he will be required to work. This is why the position occupied must be clearly specified in its context!

Then, we will look at what is important or even essential for mastering the position: knowing how to speak this or that language, mastering this or that software, etc.

The third thing the recruiter will pay attention to: Readability and grammar

If your CV is not sufficiently airy or poorly structured and the recruiter cannot understand the logic of your background or find the key information at a glance, you risk missing out on an opportunity. .

Use “bullet points” to list your missions and make them accessible for quick reading. Three out of four recruiters eliminate a candidate who finds it difficult to express themselves, to argue or to be convincing in a job interview, some have even integrated a spelling test into their recruitment process to emphasize this skill.

Extra tip: Checking references from your former employers

The request for references is a complementary method to the interviews to help the recruiter to make the decision to hire, the candidate can influence the choice of the referent by suggesting to his future recruiter two or three professional references. The reference check is carried out by contacting members of the candidate’s professional entourage, they may be current or former employees, customers, partners, suppliers.

A reference request is indeed no joke, especially when we know that 85% of candidates say it is normal to “market” their CV.
For now, if you are asked for a few professional contacts, be ready to comply with calm and seriousness, don’t be afraid, it’s even rather a good sign, it indicates that you are on the short list because a recruiter does not not going to have fun taking the references of all its candidates.

Good to know: A reference check cannot be done without your prior agreement!