Skills main consideration in shortlisting candidates: Survey


About 40 per cent of recruiters reveal that the best way to catch the eye of a recruiter is to highlight the skills relevant to the job offered

The work of hiring managers isn’t an easy one. To find one suitable candidate to fill a vacant position, the managers go through thousands of applications. How do they decide which candidate to shortlist when they are barely scanning the resumes for less than a minute? What criterion do they use for shortlisting? What skills and experiences do they look for in a candidate?

TimesJobs did a study of 690 recruiters and HR managers to find out the criterion they use to shortlist candidates. The study identifies important skills and experiences recruiters look for in a candidate’s resume.  Candidates can use the findings as a guide to make their resumes stand out from the crowd.

According to the study, about 40 per cent of the recruiters reveal that the best way to catch the eye of a recruiter is to highlight the skills relevant to the job offered. This means a candidate must customise his resume in such a way that it highlights the relevant skills and experience in line with the job description.
There are some skills like analytical skills, teamwork and leadership, which are universally desired in a candidate for a job. About 36 per cent of the recruiters state that highlighting these skills makes the resume stand out from the rest.

About 35 per cent of the recruiters vouch for skills which bring value addition to the job profile. For instance, a candidate applying for a job in a bank must highlight his expertise in using financial data analysis software.

A candidate could research into the profiles of the professionals working in  similar positions to understand the skills required for that position. Nearly 26 per cent of the recruiters feel that this helps in preparing a crystal-clear resume specific to a given role.
Writing every skill set and experience in terms of results and numbers makes a resume stand out from the crowd, suggest 21 per cent of the recruiters.

Using relevant keywords for skill sets helps in increasing the visibility of the resume, according to 20 per cent of the recruiters.
About 60 per cent of the recruiters say that while technical skills are important for a job, non-technical skill is critical when finalizing the candidate.

There are many non-technical or soft skills that a recruiter seeks in a candidate, but the top three are communication skills, leadership skills and teamwork. (See Infographic)

Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, business head, TimesJobs, says, “Even though most candidates will have the skills required for the job they apply for, the challenge lies in highlighting the right ones. Care must be taken not to fill up the skills section of your resume with a bunch of skills that have absolutely nothing to do with the job you are applying for. Even for the skills you are including, you need to substantiate them.  Therefore, it is not just important what skills you include in your resume, but equally how you highlight them.”

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Prajjal Saha is the editor and publisher of HRKatha, which he founded in 2015. With nearly 25 years of experience in business journalism, writing, and editing, he is a true industry veteran who possesses a deep understanding of all facets of business, from marketing and distribution to technology and human resources. Along with his work at HRKatha, he is also the author of the Marketing White Book. Thanks to his extensive experience and expertise, he has become a trusted source of insight and analysis for professionals across a wide range of industries.