8 Ways to Make Sure Your Resume Gets Noticed!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our recruiting team receives countless resumes and applications each hour (yes that’s how fast our world works).   While we would love to be in a position to be able to read and respond to each candidate, our truth is that not all candidates or their resumes are created equal.   Some candidates get our immediate attention and we rush to respond, while others go to the bottom of our “electronic stacks” to be looked at “when we have time.”  We have about 10  seconds to spend on this decision so first impressions count!

There are things candidates can do to make sure their resume gets noticed, starting with their introductory e mail.  We know firsthand that even exceptionally qualified candidates can slip thru the cracks because their email and/or cover letter was not formatted in a way that will catch a recruiter’s eye – make it quick and easy for them to determine if you are a candidate they can spend time pursuing.

Here are some “simple things” you can do in your intro email to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves:

  1. Make sure your subject line states clearly why you are contacting the recruiter.   Make it easy for a busy recruiter to know very specifically why you’re contacting them.

It doesn’t have to be fancy.  For example, take a look at the following subject lines.  This is all that is needed to catch the attention of most recruiters.

Re:  Response to Posting: Assistant Controller/Indeed

Re:  Referral from Jan Smith for Accounting Assistant Job

Notice you are referencing a specific job opening and how you heard about it. Using your personal name in the subject line (ex. John Rogers Resume) – is not effective.

2. Avoid “to whom it may concern” salutations.   Most recruiters include their name and email address in a job posting.  Whenever possible, address your email to the first name of a real person.

3. Keep your email introduction short – 3-5 lines max – but….

4.  …Make sure it starts a PERSONALIZED CONVERSATION.       

Example:  I was excited to see this job posting not only because it directly matches my most recent work experience,  but also because I live very close to your facility and have been actively  seeking employment closer to my home.   Your description of the team environment is exactly what I have been seeking.


Example:  I have been following your job postings on Career Builder, and believe my work experience is a good match for the types of openings I see you offer. I can provide multiple references attesting to be a significant contributor in similar roles.    Because I am currently employed, I would like to have a confidential conversation with you to discuss how I might be considered for current or future openings.   


Example:  Jan Smith, on your accounting tea, has shared her thoughts with me that  I would be a “perfect fit” for roles that come up periodically on her team.  We worked together at ABC Technologies. I have attached my resume for your review and would like to have a conversation about your hiring process and how I might be considered for future openings. 

5. End your email with information on how the recruiter can contact you.  “I am available to receive calls on my cell phone (425-999-9999) between 1:00 and 3:00 each afternoon.” Or “I would welcome your interaction by email at barbaraj@email.com”

6. Include attachments that set you apart!  It goes without saying that your primary attachment is your resume.  We recommend you take the time to edit your resume to be relevant to the specific situation you are responding to.  Make sure you highlight the specific skills and work experiences the recruiter is likely looking for.

Most recruiters will only take time to respond to candidates whose resumes show a 75-90% match to a job’s “key requirements”.  If your resume doesn’t hit that benchmark, chances are it will be overlooked.

There are other attachments you can use in addition to a customized resume that will set you apart from other candidates. For example, if you are a candidate with generic skills and experiences (as opposed to niched) a nice touch is to attach a written (and glowing) reference from a previous employer.  If you are applying for a sales position, a letter from a current or previous customer might set you apart.

We recommend to not over-do attachments, but one targeted attachment in addition to a job specific resume, can often make the difference in getting you, and your resume, noticed.

7. Proof your resume and email text carefully. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.  This would be a huge turn off to your reader and cause your resume to get purposefully overlooked or trashed.

8. Your email signature needs to be professional.  At minimum, it needs to include your name, phone number and email address.  If your phone number is not a local number, you may want to include your address so the recruiter knows you live locally.



This article was written by Jeanne Knutzen, the owner, President, and founder of the PACE Staffing Network, an award winning staffing agency in the Greater Seattle area for nearly 40 years.   If you are looking for temporary or permanent job placement, register with PACE by Clicking Here.


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