Like it or not, employers spend an average of 15 seconds looking over a resume before deciding whether to keep it or toss it away.
You’re mistaken if you think employers read every single word written in your resume. So to ensure that they give your resume the attention it deserves, you need to take proactive steps to ensure that all key information stands out.
To make sure your resume does stand out and grabs the attention of the hiring manager in those precious few seconds, there are some key steps you should take to ensure that your resume has what it takes to be noticed.
This article will provide several strategies to get your resume noticed and guarantee success with employers.
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Your resume should tell your story the right way. It should showcase your skills, accomplishments, and experiences in a clear, concise manner that will grab the attention of employers.
The best resumes go beyond just listing job titles and responsibilities; they also highlight what you achieved during each position, such as awards won, projects completed, or initiatives led.
Make sure to keep your resume up to date, highlighting recent positions, skills, and experiences.
Also, make sure to tailor each resume for the job you’re applying for; employers want to know that you’ve taken the time to learn about their organization and what they’re looking for in a potential hire.
Here is a guide for you on how to tell your story in the right way:
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It’s like a marketing document – you should only put the information that is most relevant to the job you are applying for.
Imagine if a resume was like a book, and each of the pages in the book was mere seconds long. That’s how quickly employers scan resumes, so make sure only the best parts of your story are included in it.
Your resume should be concise and clear. Include only the most relevant information, such as job titles, responsibilities, key accomplishments, and experiences that are related to the position you’re applying for. Don’t include extraneous details that won’t add value to your application.
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Chances are that you will swap in and out information on your resume depending on the job you are applying for.
Make sure to maintain a master list of information handy. This should include details such as job titles, dates of employment, key accomplishments, and skills.
That way, when you’re customizing your resume for different jobs, you can quickly pull from your master list to make sure all the necessary information is included.
The first front half of your resume should be used to highlight your most impressive accomplishments and skills.
Employers will make decisions about you quickly, so make sure to have the best information available in the first few seconds they are looking at your resume.
They want to be able to quickly and easily get a sense of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and why you would be a great fit for their company.
It has become a bit cliche for employers to include an “Objective Statement” at the top of their resume. Instead, use that valuable space to highlight your most impressive qualifications and accomplishments.
This is why Zhang says that you don’t need to include an “Objective Statement” on your resume. Only when you want to change your career do you need to include a brief overview of your desired job and why your experience doesn’t match the current position you are applying for.
Reverse chronology is a great way to organize the information on your resume. It starts with your most recent experience and then works backward in time.
This method helps employers quickly understand the context of each job, and how your experiences have led you to where you are now.
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Perhaps two pages, if needed. In fact, it is a hot topic in the hiring community as to how long a resume should be. One page is ideal, especially if you are just starting out your job search and don’t have much experience.
If you do have more than 10 years of experience, it’s perfectly alright to include additional information on a second page. Just make sure that the information on the second page is relevant and adds value to your application.
The bottom line is that employers don’t want to spend a lot of time reading resumes – they want to quickly grasp the essentials and move on to the next one.
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If you don’t know what to do with all the amazing experiences, awards, and extracurricular activities you have accomplished, consider launching an online resume supplement like a portfolio or website.
A well-constructed portfolio can help employers get a much more comprehensive picture of who you are, without them having to read through long paragraphs. It’s also a great way to showcase your skills and talents in a visually interesting way.
So if you have the time and resources, creating an online supplement can be a great addition to your resume.
You can then include the link on your resume, so employers can get a better sense of who you are.
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Formatting and organizing your resume is a crucial part of the job search process. A well-formatted resume will grab recruiters’ attention, helping you stand out from the competition.
To get your resume noticed in 15 seconds guaranteed there are a couple of formatting tips to follow:
As much as creativity is important, keep your resume to a classic and minimalist design. Your resume should be easy to read with its content easily digestible. Stick to a layout that is neat, organized, and avoids clutter.
Your resume should have a simple design that is easy to read and navigate. Avoid overcrowding your resume with too much information, and use white space to your advantage. Use one or two fonts and try not to exceed 10-12 point size.
Basic modern fonts like Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman are usually preferable.
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Organize all information in a clear and concise manner. Break up sections into headers that define the content such as Education, Work Experience, Skills, etc. to make it easier for recruiters to quickly scan your resume for relevant details.
Be mindful of the margins, font size, and alignment as these small details can make a big difference in creating an organized resume format. Use alignment tools like tabs or indents to keep your information organized and aligned.
Don’t forget to follow through with consistent spacing between sections to make it easier to read.
By following these formatting tips, recruiters will be able to quickly and easily scan through your resume in 15 seconds or less.
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Adding bullet points is a great way to break up dense content into smaller sections for increased visibility. Bullets also draw attention to the key points you want to highlight.
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Of course, creativity is key to standing out from the competition. Use unique fonts and colors, but be mindful of not going overboard. Stick to no more than two complementary colors that bring attention to the important information.
Also, infographics, charts, and graphs can be used to make your resume stand out, without distracting recruiters from the content.
Mind you, if you are going to send your resume through an ATS, then perhaps you should opt for a simpler resume design. Stick to the basics and make sure that your resume is ATS compliant.
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Be sure to include your contact information at the top of your resume. Include your name, email, phone number, and optionally even a link to your LinkedIn profile or other social profiles.
These details should be easy to spot and clearly presented so that recruiters can easily reach out to you.
Position them in the header section of your resume, somewhere near the top so that recruiters will be able to spot them quickly without having to search for them.
Finally, it is important to proofread and edit your resume before submitting it. Mistakes in spelling or grammar may cost you the job, so be sure to double-check for any errors before sending out your resume.
It also helps to have someone else review your resume to ensure that all information is presented accurately and effectively.
Your resume should be optimized for skimmability, as recruiters often spend only a few seconds on each resume. Use bold headings, bullets, and concise language to draw attention to key points in your resume.
Make sure important information is either at the top or the bottom of the page so that it stands out from long paragraphs of text.
When recruiters and employers review resumes, they tend to first look at the work experience and education sections. We will talk about education in the next section, but in terms of work experience, here are some tips to get your resume noticed.
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When detailing out each job experience, be sure to highlight any achievements that you have made during that period.
This could be anything from a large project you completed to high sales numbers you achieved. Anything that would demonstrate why having you on the team would be a great asset to the organization.
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With most companies utilizing online applicant tracking systems (ATS) these days, it is important to include relevant keywords from the job posting throughout your resume. Doing this will help ensure that you are more likely to appear in searches that recruiters and employers are doing.
Make sure that you are not including too much unnecessary information on your resume. Only include job experiences and skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for as recruiters tend to scan through resumes quickly so keep only what is necessary.
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Make sure that your job experiences are concise and easy to read. You want to make sure you’re getting all the important information across without having too much clutter. Keep sentences short and use bullet points when possible.
One good way to get recruiters to notice your resume quickly is by adding some statistics or numbers wherever possible. This could be anything from the number of people you have managed in a previous job, the amount of money saved on a project, or any other quantifiable accomplishment.
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If you have any non-traditional work experience, such as freelance or volunteer work, be sure to include it on your resume. This could act as a great conversation starter and demonstrate the different skill sets that you possess.
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As tempting as it may be to use words like “expert” or “highly experienced”, try to avoid them as much as possible. This is because recruiters and employers can often see through these empty words and it won’t help you stand out from the crowd.
Education is one of the most important parts of your resume. Make sure that you list all relevant educational qualifications and certifications prominently on your CV.
Here are a few tips to present your education section:
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Education should come after the experience, even if you are fresh out of school. This indicates to recruiters that you have acquired some industry experience and knowledge before entering the job market.
List any courses that are related to the job you are applying for. This is especially important if you have completed a certification program that is specific to the industry.
Including your GPA is optional, but it can be a great way to stand out from other applicants. If your GPA was above 3.0, then definitely list it on your resume.
If you have any awards or honors related to education, list them prominently on your CV. This will show recruiters that you are a top performer, even among other talented individuals.
If you are not a recent graduate, then avoid including dates on your resume. This can be distracting and invites recruiters to question how much experience you really have.
Focus instead on the content of your education section, rather than the time frame in which it was obtained.
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If you have done any online courses, list them in the same way as traditional qualifications. You should include all relevant information like the name of the course, the institution offering it, and what you learned from it.
Telling the world what you are passionate about and what skills you possess is essential in making sure your resume stands out. When writing your resume, make sure to list any activities or clubs that you are a part of.
Additionally, highlight the key skills that set you apart from other applicants. Whether it is sales strategies, coding experience, or customer service abilities, this can make your resume stand out.
Write down all of the skills and interests that you have. Be sure that these listings are somehow related to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job in the medical field, make sure to include any medical terms or specialist skills that you may have.
You should prioritize the skills and interests that best match the job description. This will help employers quickly identify the qualities they need in a candidate and make sure your resume stands out from other applicants.
Organizing your skills and interests in a way that is easy to read will help employers quickly scan your resume. This can be done by having each skill and interest on its own line, with the most relevant listed first.
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Customizing your skills and interests section to best match the job description will ensure that hiring managers get the full picture of your abilities. Think about the specific needs of the company and list those skills first.
This can be a great way to stand out from the competition. If you are applying for a creative role, make sure to include interests that show your creative side. This could range from painting to attending art shows or plays.
Although you must be careful to add relevant and interesting interests to your resume, make sure you are honest and don’t oversell yourself. Being truthful when listing your skills and interests will help employers trust you more.
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Now that you have all the sections of your resume filled in, it’s time to give it one final look-over before sending it out.
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Make sure there aren’t any misspellings or awkward phrasing that could put your resume in the discard pile. It’s a good idea to have someone else check it over.
Many employers assume that you can provide references if they request them. Including this space in your resume may take away from the 15 seconds a hiring manager has to look at it.
In the past, employers asked for resumes in Word format, but PDFs are becoming more common. This will ensure your work looks the same across any device or computer that the hiring manager might be using.
You want to make sure that your resume stands out. Instead of “resume.pdf”, try something like “John Doe Resume.pdf” or “Software Developer John Doe Resume.pdf”
Keep your resume up-to-date with the most recent job experience and skills you possess. This will make sure it’s relevant when a company looks for someone with your abilities.
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Finally, you’re ready to send off your resume and get noticed in 15 seconds or less.
Remember that employers want to be able to quickly scan and understand what you can offer them, so make sure your resume is neat, organized, and easy to read.
Good luck with your job search!
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.