Do you know how to impress Australia's top recruiters?

When the time comes to make your next career move, knowing what recruiters are looking for in a resume can be just as important as your credentials. Even the most solid CV could benefit from some tips to help you stand out in a competitive job market.

To make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, we asked some of Australia’s top recruiters to share what it is about a job seeker that impresses them most.

How to impress recruiters

What is the first piece of information you look for when you read someone’s resume?

“I want to be sure the candidate has the right experience and qualifications for the role. The overarching factor of a successful resume is that it addresses the requirements of the role being applied for.”

– Andrew Morris, Director at Robert Half

“I look at companies they have worked for – top brands stick out to me. I look at length of service as well as facts and figures that articulate their commercial outcomes.”

– Jo Krause, Executive Consultant at Six Degrees

Experience vs formal qualifications – how do they compare?

“In the last few years, the increasingly competitive job market has called for highly skilled candidates with stellar tertiary credentials to match.

There are good reasons why relevant qualifications can boost a candidate’s job prospects. Along with skills and knowledge, a person who has successfully completed a university degree or other tertiary course shows ambition, direction and a desire to better themselves – traits that can pave the way for a solid career.

A tendency towards academic achievement can also hold powerful clues into how a person will perform in the workplace – the desire to excel in a learning environment often extends seamlessly to the workforce.”

– Andrew Morris, Director at Robert Half

How can a candidate make their resume stand out?

“Three key factors come to mind that make a resume immediately sing:

  • Keep it short and sweet: When compiling your resume, make sure it’s not too long. If you’re asked for an interview, you’ll have time to elaborate further.
  • Focus on relevant experience: Always place your current role at the beginning of the first page – that’s what any future employer is looking for straight away.
  • Be professional: Communication skills are sought after for virtually every role these days, and if your resume writing is clunky or peppered with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, chances are your credibility will be doubted.”

– Andrew Morris, Director at Robert Half

Can someone apply for and/or start a new role while still studying?

“Absolutely! Study encourages this pioneering mentality that supports innovative thoughts and ideas, which are necessities in today’s changing commercial climate. Anyone with the drive and willingness to undertake simultaneous study/work has an active and engaged mind that, as owners and managers, we want to both harness and foster. Such employees can be game changers.”

– Leanne Northcott, Managing Director at Path4 Group

“I would say yes, if they have current experience and if it didn’t impact on their work performance. Most employees really value someone who is adding to their knowledge or skill set by studying.”

– Jo Krause, Executive Consultant at Six Degrees