Most recruiters will spend less than ten seconds looking at your resume before they decide if it belongs on the call list or in the recycling bin. After all, a popular job listing could receive hundreds of applications. It’s simply not possible to thoroughly read every applicant’s resume, and there’s a good chance you’re one of many people hoping to land an interview: people who rival your experience, skills and ambition.
This begs the question: how exactly do you write a resume that is impressive at first, second and third glance? What do recruiters spend those ten seconds looking for?
We’re going to teach you how to make those seconds count by writing a resume that is nearly impossible to put down.
Part 1: The Professional Title
There should be absolutely no question as to the type of role you’re looking for when someone views your resume. Ensure that your career ambitions are clear by including your desired professional title at the top of your resume, for example: “Enterprise Architect”, “Senior Data Scientist” or “Frontend Developer”. This will save the recruiter from having to read through paragraphs of tiny text in order to work out what your current or desired role is. Instead, they can refer to your professional title and get a rough idea of the skills and experience you likely already have.
Part 2: Job Listing Keywords
Spend some time researching keywords that are commonly mentioned in the job descriptions of the roles you’re interested in and incorporate them into your resume. If your recruiter uses a resume-scanning system (and they likely do), this will ensure that yours lands itself among the top submissions. Additionally, including keywords will show the recruiter that you’ve not only taken the time to research and prepare for the role, but that your experience is relevant and applicable!
Part 3: Your Impact
Don’t just include what you did, include how well you did it, too! Who do you think is more likely to appeal to a hiring manager: the person who “made sales calls”, or the person who “followed up on 20+ leads per day, resulting in $300K in new revenue for FY 2021”? If you created any new processes or were part of any big projects, include them — and the results that followed. Adding these metric-related details makes your achievements more concrete and shows prospective employers that you’re someone who is proactive and gets things done.
Part 4: Straightforward Formatting
Stay away from flashy resume templates! While they may look pretty, they are often difficult to read, improperly organised, and can confuse resume-scanning software. Clear, specific headings (like “Work Experience”, “Professional Summary” or “Technical Skills”) are your best friend, because they help your resume reader quickly find the information they’re looking for. Avoid chunky blocks of text, list your experience in chronological order, and use bullet points to shine the spotlight on your most notable and relevant accomplishments. Keep it simple, and you might just find an interview invitation in your inbox.
Part 5: Brag About Yourself
Your resume is not the place to be humble. You are trying to make a quick impression on someone you have never met before, and humility is not going to work in your favour. You need to let the person reading your resume know that they are looking at an excellent candidate and that they would be foolish not to hire you. Whether you have won awards for your hard work, finished university at the top of your class, or interned with the biggest names in the game, this is your chance to brag about it.
While the job market and interview experience vary for everyone, having a well-written and succinct resume can help you get noticed out of thousands of applicants. So even if you’ve just joined the professional world or you haven’t interviewed in over a decade, a strong resume can be the key to landing your next dream job. Feel free to reach out to our friendly team for more resume-writing advice. If you’re in the process of updating your resume, have a look at 8 Common Resume Mistakes Every Job Seeker Makes
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