What do recruiters look for in a resume or online profile?

Applying for jobs can be a time-consuming process but it’s important to get your resume and online profiles right in order to stand out from the masses.

Naomi Easson, a Digital and Design Agent at Agency Iceberg (a recruitment agency that recruits for creative and communications roles), shares her dos and don’ts when it comes to creating a stellar resume and online profile.

What do recruiters look for in online profiles?


  • If you’ve recently completed a course, had a freelance job, attended a relevant conference, or gained a certification, update all of your profiles simultaneously. Showing a vested interest in your field could set you apart from another applicant.

  • Include links for recruiters to view your online presence elsewhere on the web such as your professional Twitter account, blog or website.

  • Add a one or two line summary about yourself to your SEEK profile. Mention specific key details in your personal summary about your skill set and what makes you a stand-out candidate. Your personal summary can act as the hook, and could lead to someone giving you the call you’ve been waiting for. Learn how to set up a SEEK profile so employers can find you.

  • If you are immediately available for work, including this detail might land you a contract role that could turn into the next five years of your career.
  • Include keywords in your online profiles and resume. When recruiters and employers are skimming resumes and searching for candidates through SEEK, they use keywords that describe the essential experiences needed for the role. Have a look at job adverts for roles that you would consider and see what terms and phrases they’re using. 


  • Don’t list every job you’ve ever had. A resume should ideally not be longer than two pages. If you find you have too many roles, choose the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re looking for, or the most recent.
  • Be careful not to be too quirky or share irrelevant personal interests in your resume or online profiles as it might come across as unprofessional.

  • Avoid being too wordy. Most recruiters skim read, so it’s important that all your key expertise, achievements, leadership, specialisms and qualifications are clear and can be gathered from the first few seconds of reading. If you were to hand it to a complete stranger and then give them ten seconds to read it, would they know what an excellent candidate you were?
  • Don’t underestimate the visual presentation of your resume. Both hiring managers and recruiters look at a lot of resumes, so if you can make yours visually appealing it can really help it to stand out. Your resume is your advert for yourself. There are many online tools to help create a PDF resume such as Canva, which can break away from the standard white and black text format while still looking polished. 
  • Don’t forget key information. Remember to include important details such as your phone number and a professional-sounding email address. Each job listed should have the start and end date, the job title and bullet points of your key responsibilities.