Employers look through hundreds of resumes a day and only spend 6-10 seconds on each. While it’s frustrating to learn that the resume you worked so hard on is only getting a quick glance, knowing a few tips and tricks will help you maximize those precious seconds.
Content is King
Make sure your resume is skimmable. Below are the most commonly looked at sections, so make sure they are easy to find.
- Job Titles: Are you a good fit for the role?
- Past Employers: Do you have similar industry experience?
- Employment Dates: Do you have good tenure? Do you job hop? Are there big gaps between jobs?
- Education: Where did you go to school? What is your degree?
Make sure the content you are adding is valuable. Avoid clichés and generalizations. It is best to use specific examples to highlight your achievements—bonus points for using numbers and data. SmartTip: Follow the ABC format—TO ACCOMPLISH A, I DID B, which RESULTED IN C.
- Improved retention rates by creating a mentorship program which resulted in 25% reduction in turnover.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
You would be surprised at how many resumes look the same. Increase your chances of moving to the “yes” pile by creating a resume that stands out.
Your resume needs to follow a logical format. Start with your most recent job and work your way back. In terms of design, use headings and subheading to break up the information. Don’t try and cram too much text on one page—white space is important!
It’s all in the details. Design the resume to showcase your personality. Using a unique font can help your resume stand out. “If content is king, then aesthetic value is queen,” says Debra Wheatman, President of the New York-based Careers Done Write. “I stay away from Times New Roman. That’s the sweatpants of font.” SmartTip: Be consistent in your font choices—limit yourself to two fonts. Use one for headers and one for content.
You Only Get One First Impression
One of the easiest ways to disqualify yourself is by having an unprofessional email address. If you are still using your email from high school, it is time for an update! Create a free email address through Gmail and use some variation of your name in the address.
Proofread your resume, then proofread again. Then have a someone else read over it. Typos and spelling errors look bad. Plus having a second pair of eyes look over your resume is a great way to gather feedback!
Honesty is the Best Policy
This section is so important! Companies can verify employment dates and educational history, so lying about this information will eventually backfire. Be honest and upfront about your job history, and it will save you a lot of headache in the long run.