What Are HR Managers Looking for in a Good Resume/CV

9th March 2020

To be successful in landing the dream job, be sure to differentiate yourself and catch the attention of a hiring manager. Here at HR Online, we know that the job market is extremely competitive and being well-prepared is key. 

The first step of the application process is to create a work CV.

What is a good CV

If you have a clear understanding of what managers look for in a resume, you’ll be able make your CV good and stand out from your competition. 

So, try to put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter. Before you put together your CV consider the different aspects of employers’ mindset for productivity and results. Once you have a good idea of what you’re after, you can truly make it good.

What Hiring Managers Like in a CV

You are worried that you don’t have the skills to write a strong CV?
Or simply don’t know where to start from? 

Don’t stress! Follow these easy steps to create a compelling resume:

  1. Ensure your resume looks beautiful and is easy to read
  2. List accurate contact information
  3. Buff up your current role
  4. Use data as proof
  5. List relevant skills
  6. Add a section of achievements
  7. Trim out mistakes

Let’s look a bit more in-depth to each:

1. Ensure your resume looks beautiful and is easy to read 

Recruiters usually have limited time and spend only seconds scanning your CV. That is why it is essential for you to have a strong resume that has all the key terms. If managers find it satisfactory they will commit and fully read it. This gets you one step closer to your goal. If you find difficulties to format or you want something ordinary, look into resume examples from EnhanCV to make your own resume stand out and earn your desired remuneration

Remember: don’t go overboard! Write your CV in a simple font and keep it short, clear, and easy to read with divided paragraphs.

2. List accurate contact information

Potential employers look for your basic information in your resume. Don’t underestimate this step, as many applicants manage to skip this step or give out-of-date information. 

Here’s a list of things to include in your CV:

  • Current address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Skype account
  • Personal website/blog/portfolio

Depending on your career, you might include other professional accounts as well. According to visual professionals Infostarters, if you are a designer, list your Dribbble or Behance page can move the needle. If you are a developer, make sure to paste a link to your Github profile. 

3. Buff up your current role

Once the recruiters have their attention fixed on your CV, they will look into your current role. It paints a perfect picture of who you are as an employee. Are you trying to change your career? Do you need a more challenging job? 

Your role description sums up accomplishments and capabilities in your current position. Use this section of your CV to self-promote yourself and let recruiters know that you are a qualified candidate. While writing this part of your resume, think about questions which might interest potential employers:

  • Where do you sit within the organisation?
  • Do you lead a team?
  • What are your contributions to the company?
  • What results did you achieve for your employer or clients?

4. Use data as proof

It makes a good impression with recruiters when you back up your claims with numbers and facts. With this provided as evidence, you‘ll stand out as a responsible and serious applicant. Furthermore, it will benchmark you against the competition and significantly increase your chances of getting your dream job.

Employers look in a CV disclosed figures such as the range of budget candidates operate with, or their flexibility coming to multiple work locations. Provide this information and tip the scale in your favour as recruiters get a clear sense of your professional level and experience.

5. List relevant skills

Include and emphasise on the skills and experience you have that will associate with the job you apply for. List certain personal and professional capabilities you possess, such as leadership, communication, and teamwork skills.

6. Add a section of achievements

Show the recruiter how your work and motivation made a difference in your current company. Differentiate yourself from the other candidates by adding a section with your achievements. That way your CV will become more compelling and efficient. Make sure you focus entirely on what you accomplished for your employer not so much on the obvious parts of your work. 

7. Trim out mistakes

HR managers rely heavily on their reputation, so if your resume has even minor inconsistencies it will stop them from shortlisting you. There is nothing worse than spelling and grammar mistakes on your CV. It shows the recruiter that either you are incompetent or simply didn’t put the work into polishing your resume. 

To prove to potential employers that you are a serious candidate make sure to proofread your CV and put adequate, up-to-date information. Keep it short and clean and don’t give a reason for hiring managers to doubt you. 

What CV skills do recruiters look for

Commercial awareness

If you want to succeed in landing the perfect job you need to understand how the industry works. Get familiar with business, its market trends, competitors, and products. You have to put work into it and get informed. Follow and read journals and social media feed to stay in the loop. Internships or extra-curricular activities are another way to put things into perspective and give you an advantage over other candidates.

Teamwork skills

It is essential for you to show recruiters or hiring managers that you are a team player. Teamwork skills can be acquired through study, hobbies and jobs – whether it’s from working with colleagues in an office, playing in a local sports team or being a part of group projects at college/university.

Check out our: Five top tips for keeping your team on track

Communication skills

Refer in your CV a job where you provided excellent customer service or project which success was guaranteed mostly by your input.

Hiring managers not only look for verbal communication but also writing capabilities. If you want to apply for a job that requires writing experience, make sure to add to your resume an example of a previous position where your written skills were involved. 

Organisational skills

Decent organisational skills prove that you are efficient while working under pressure or close deadlines. They show recruiters your time management and prioritisation capabilities. By adding this information to your resume you will come out as a solid candidate, in which potential employers will surely be interested.

Be proactive and back up your accomplishments with real examples. 

Work-related skills

Some employers look for transferable skills in a candidate. They are usually acquired in one setting and can be used in other business niches. Others search strictly for job-related capabilities which are specific to a certain line of employment. These skills need training to be earned and performed.

How much employment history on your resume

Inexperienced candidates will list as much as there is, however, it’s best to include only details relevant to the position or company you’re to apply.

To Summarize

Recruiters want to discover the perfect candidate who fits their client’s description. Therefore, if you manage to prove to them that you possess the required abilities and experience, then you have a great chance of being selected. If you structure your work CV and take into consideration the HR manager’s time, you will in no doubt have numerous interview requests coming your way!

Do you want to become part of our team? Check out the available positions at HR Online.



Dimitar Karamarinov is an award-winning digital multi-instrumentalist of background and skill in a wide range of digital mediums and multimedia starting as early as 2006. With over a decade of experience in audio, graphic, and motion design, along with various forms of business and communication, he gains experience with Entrepreneur Franchise top 500, Inc 5000, and multi-continent companies, along with various charity initiatives under his belt.