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Wondering what HR looks for in a good résumé?

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

I recently completed a résumé rewrite for Sandra, an HR professional, and we chatted about her experience of the process…

As an HR professional, you’ve seen a lot of résumés in your time – what was your first impression of the new ‘Roz résumé’?

How easy it was to read. Short, sweet and to the point, as well as professionally written, with no spelling errors. EVERYTHING captured in only two pages. BAM – six seconds, done!

What do you look for in a good résumé?

what an HR specialist looks for

There is nothing more frustrating when you advertise a position, to have to go through hundreds of résumés. As an HR Generalist, I just do not have the time. They say it takes a recruiter on average only 6 seconds to look at a résumé. That is true.

The don’ts for me:

  1. Please tailor your résumé before sending it out – don’t jump in and apply without adjusting the résumé to suit the position you apply for. Some résumés will refer to the previous position they applied for which has nothing to do with the position I’m advertising. Double check what the company is looking for and adjust accordingly. And please check your spelling!

  2. Don’t send me pages of information to read through. It’s time-consuming to go through to look for applicable information.

  3. Only include essential information in your résumé – I don’t need to know where you grew up, what your interests are, how many siblings you have, what your strong or weak points are, etc. Especially if you say you are detail orientated and the résumé is full of spelling errors. If I need to know all this, I will ask you in the interview.

How is your new résumé different to other résumés?

!For a start it’s only two pages long – and it captures all of my 20 years’ experience, professionally summed up and very well written. It's a good résumé!

Have you had success with your new résumé?

I was employed in a part-time position for two and a half years, desperately unhappy and bored. I wanted a more challenging position in a full-time capacity. It took me over a year, applying for over 50 positions, but to no avail. Then I came across Roz’s Facebook advert, and being desperate at that stage gave her a go. I applied for only two positions with my new résumé and was successful for one of them – all within one month! And I’m extremely happy in my new position working for a great company.

Would you recommend Résumés Etc?

Oh yes, yes, yes! You cannot go wrong. Roz is quick. I appreciate her honesty and professionalism and if something will not work for your résumé, she will tell you. And you can believe her – she knows what she’s talking about.


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