What Employers Want To See On Your Resume

What Do Employers Want To See On Your Resume - HealthCallings JobsEmployers generally spend less than 30 seconds reviewing a resume.

By HealthCallings.com

Recruiters were asked what makes a resume stand out. They jokingly responded:

  • You’re assuming I actually get a chance to read resumes.
  • Someone who went to my alma mater. Not that I’m biased.

Jokes aside, what do hiring managers actually want to see? And on the other hand, what makes them throw a resume away? What do they secretly think when they see your resume?

A resume is still the backbone of how you represent yourself to potential employers. Substance and language both count when someone is making a quick first assessment. Recruiters said they look for:

  • A well-rounded candidate
  • Relevant, appropriate experience
  • Accomplishments—preferably measurable
  • Immediate availability
  • Something that makes you stand out

The ease of applying online contributes to a flood of irrelevant responses recruiters and hiring managers say they get after posting a job. Most said they receive hundreds of responses per posting, yet the majority of resumes do not match the job description.

Unless you want them to laugh at you or throw your application away, don’t send an irrelevant resume. Here’s an example of how to match your experience and accomplishments to the experience required in the job description.

If the description says:

The Charge Nurse supervises nursing service activities in assigned nursing unit for the duration of the assigned shift or in the absence of nursing management.  The task and responsibilities of this position include:

  • Supports nursing staff in communication with physicians to include accepting doctors’ orders and communicating patient condition.
  • Manages the nursing care of assigned patients in accordance with established policies, procedures, and protocols of the healthcare organization.
  • Monitors, records, and communicates patient condition as appropriate utilizing computerized documentation systems. 

Do not fail to specifically note your specific experience related to the job; cite accomplishments from your clinical and customer service experience.

Those are the right things to say; remember to also take time to say them right. To keep your resume—and your candidacy—viable, use specific, memorable language.

Executive Resume Writer Laura Smith-Proulx has a helpful suggestion. If you think what you’ve drafted might be cliché, Google it! The phrase “go-getter” came up on Google more than 1.6 million—so you probably want to avoid it, along with “self-motivated,” and “team-player.”

To make your resume stand out, show—don’t just tell about—your accomplishments. Describe your skills by their results using power verbs, said Smith-Proulx. In the example below, see how the bullet points refer back to the job requirements as advertised while using active verbs and citing quantifiable metrics.

  • Responded to emergencies; assessed the condition of the resident; decided on the type of medical attention required; called appropriate ambulance service when needed; notified family when resident is transferred or admitted to the hospital; notified the physician when a change in condition occurs.
  • Managed the nursing care of assigned patients in accordance with established policies, procedures, and protocols of the healthcare organization. 
  • Completed documentation and its impact on reimbursement and federal regulations in hospital’s electronic medical record system.

The sheer number of responses to job postings these days is a real challenge. Don’t make the mistake most job seekers do and send a generic response! Seize this opportunity to be a savvy resume writer.

Search All Healthcare Jobs from Health Callings

© Health Callings, Dice Holdings Inc., 2014


  1. BY Lily says:

    I think resume-writing services need to see this, too. I just recently had someone try to make my sad resume look better, and all the words I had in it that were not cliche were taken out and combined by using "team player" and such. I was getting more hits with my lackluster resume than with this career-specific, cookie-cutter resume that highlights my educational background in my field.

  2. BY AProcessthatcouldbeImproved says:

    I think the process could be improved a lot, Employers should make it easy for the potential employees to apply, If we spend 2-3 hrs on applying for a job for which they do not respond and receive 100000s of applications, it is a colossal waste of time and energy. Technology needs to be improved that will immediately say whether the candidate can apply and what is his chance of getting selected and neverthless needs to know the status and what he needs to do to get selected when he/she applies the next time.

    • BY Eli says:

      I can only comment that no matter what you do, it is difficult, very difficult to find a job nowadays!