How to Get Recruiters to Pass Your Resume to Hiring Managers

Recruiters can be a great way to get your foot in the door of a company where you want to work. But it can often feel like a guessing game when trying to figure out how to make yourself stand out. So what exactly are recruiters looking for when they consider passing your resume on to hiring managers?

How to get recruiters


Your resume is not the place to add some jazzy graphics or long-winded descriptions. Keep it concise, keep it clear, and don’t forget to sprinkle it with some of the exact buzzwords used in the job description. Simple, clean copy may look boring to you—but in this case, the rest is just clutter.


Going hand-in-hand with the above point, keep the information you want conveyed in an organized layout. Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes a day, so the more organized and easy-to-read your information is, the more their eyes will thank you—and the more likely you are to get a call.


This may seem like a no-brainer, but it really is the key to getting your voice heard in the world of job interviews. Did you tell the recruiter you would send your resume by a certain date? Did you say you would answer the phone or show up to the office for an interview at a certain time? Then do so. Every time. On time.

Problem solving

Have you been able to solve problems—whether it’s with a client, for a project, or in the office—successfully on your own? Draw attention to that in your resume and during interviews by citing specific incidents in which you got things done. Why? Fast Company cites a new study by the HR software provider iCIMS that finds 62 percent of recruiters keep an eye out specifically for people who have demonstrated the ability to find solutions. That percentage makes it the number one soft skill recruiters seek.


Showing that you take an interest in the job, and about all the position entails, signals to the recruiter you could be a valuable investment for the company. Resumes that reflect ambition often include achievements like exceeding work goals or holding leadership positions (whether inside or outside of the office).


Treat the recruiter as you would someone who directly works for the company for which you want to work. Consider contact with him part of the formal interview process. Respond to all questions about your background and what you are looking for with answers specifically tailored to the company and position. Follow up, provide samples when they ask for them, don’t forget to send thank-you notes after interviews, and check in with them.


As in any interview, it is important to remain open and forthcoming—even if it’s about an uncomfortable topic like unemployment or firings. Not only will that information eventually get out anyway (whether through your resume, reference checks, or some other avenue), but recruiters are trained on the art of sidestepping questions—and they don’t like it.


No, success cannot always be measured in numbers. But if you have the numbers to show (say, a certain percentage you helped increase your company’s sales or a certain number of additional clients you nabbed) then show it proudly on your resume. You could even take it further and put those numbers in bold underneath each place of previous employment.

While it can be frustrating to suddenly stop hearing from a recruiter, it helps to know exactly what one is looking for when glancing over your resume. Keep the above points in mind while crafting yours, and you just might find yours at the top of the pile.

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