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What Recruiters See: Make your Resume Stand Out

Wondering how to stand out in a pool of hungry job seekers? This blog shares tips and tricks that our Talent Specialists notice in applications from their top candidates 

The good news? There ARE jobs!  

The not-so-great news? There are TONS of applications for recruiters to sort through. 

How can you stand out in a candidate-heavy applicant pool? Here are some of our tips: 


Be honest; Be real  

Left your job because you needed to tend to a sick family member? Are you attracted to the convenient location of our office? Share it! It’s natural for recruiters (we are people!) to make assumptions about why you left. In a world that is coming to value transparency now more than ever, here’s an opportunity to model it and stand out. 

Be creative  

What really excites you about the job or the company? Your cover letter is your opportunity to make a statement and express your authentic reasoning for applying to the company. How do you understand the role/company? And how do you see yourself fitting within that? Share specific examples of your experience and how it can contribute to this position 

Be real and authentic about what you’re great at and where you’re hoping to growwe are continually hearing from our clients more emphasis placed on ability to learn new skills rather than having it all figured out. Make it easy for recruiters and highlight where you’re strong, what you’re familiar with, and the areas you’re hoping to learn in this role.  

Logistics matter 

If you speak multiple languages, list them out. Include your work status and eligibility if you have international experience and are looking to work in Canada. If you are currently located in a different city/province than the job posting, acknowledge it and share your plan to relocate or accommodate different time zones. While these are not used to weed candidates out, they do help to color in your story and show you’ve thought about the details.  

Don’t get [too] personal 

There’s a fine line between being transparent and sharing your intimate personal details. As recruiters, we aim to be the most unbiased as possible. So, leave out the photos, family status, height/weight or anything of the like. They are irrelevant to your work performance and trainability and are therefore irrelevant to the application process!  

Readability and file types  

If we can’t read your resume, we can’t get to know you — simple as that! As a rule of thumb, always check the consistency of your formatting before converting your resume to a PDF file. Yes, a PDF! Unless otherwise stated, this is the most reliable file as it keeps all your formatting crisp and clean in our systems!  

Really want the job? Follow up!  

Nothing speaks louder than being proactive in your job search! If you’re passionate about the role, find a contact email and send a short message introducing yourself and expressing your interest. Careful – one message is enough; you don’t want to present yourself as too pushy!  


If there’s one thing to take away from our list of tips and tricks… it’s to be yourself! Recruiters are human, just like you. At the end of the day, the applications that stand out are the ones that show off your personality and connect us with YOU!  


Scored an interview? Check out our 60-Second Lesson to prepare for your virtual interview!