Did you know that recruiters spent only six seconds reviewing a resume? Whoa, what? Only six seconds to make a great impression?
According to The Ladders, recruiters invest 80 percent of those six seconds looking at the name, current position, previous position, and education.
Those would be the aspects that require special attention. The only question is: how do you make them perfect?
Getting noticed in six seconds.
Ken Richards, a career specialist working for Careers Booster, explains what makes those six seconds so important,
“When you have dozens of hundreds of applications to review, you’re not going to spend an hour on every single one. You have few seconds to decide: is this candidate worthy of attention? If they are, you put that application in a special bunch and you give it more time a bit later. If not, you put it in the bunch that goes straight to the garbage. For an applicant, that may seem brutal. For a recruiter, that’s efficiency.”
When digesting information on a piece of paper, people tend to stick to a pattern. They quickly want to find the information they are interested in.
Recruiters usually know where to locate such information in a resume. That’s why it’s important to present a clean, standard resume. If you choose to go freestyle, make sure the printed version of your resume looks absolutely clear and it’s extremely easy to read.
The introduction is important, but you shouldn’t be convinced that it will be the only part a recruiter reads in those six seconds. Most recruiters tend to scan the document and get information from the bolds and bullets.
How to get noticed in six seconds.
Is there a rule? How exactly do you create the perfect resume that gets you the attention you need? Well, one thing is certain: each recruiter has a different approach and we can’t get into everyone’s mind.
Mind the title
You don’t know what each hiring manager reads, but you can be sure in one thing: they will pay attention to the title because they want to know who you are.
The resume title gives you a chance to present yourself with few words. This should be a brief phrase positioned at the top of the document. It should convince the manager that you’ll be a valuable addition to their team.
Here’s an example of a good title: “Goal-Driven Team Leader with Five Years of Experience in Marketing.” It’s good because it says a lot about your potential (that’s the goal-driven part), but it mentions experience at the same time.
The title should be focused on the particular position you’re aiming for.
If you want to be a team leader, the title should clarify that you are a team leader. In other words, use the name of the position as a keyword and develop the title around it. See? Easy.
Put the skills at the top of the resume.
Many job applicants tend to start with the experience and leave the skills at the bottom of the document. That’s not the right thing to do. Your experience does matter, but the skills are what you’re ultimately bringing to the new employer.
Describe your accomplishments and use action verbs while you’re at it.
For example, you can say your helped your company to increase its income 15 percent through the suggestions you made for a marketing campaign. Of course, you need to be precise; so write something about the exact suggestions and the specific marketing campaign.
Creativity is not always the right approach.
Infographic resumes are a huge trend because they allow you to get creative. The form is fresh, but the structure and content stay basically the same.
In resume writing, creativity is not always the good thing. The hiring manager expects to find precise information in those six seconds. If you make it difficult for them to locate those details, even the most beautiful resume won’t do you any good.
Regardless of the format you choose, make sure these details are easy to find: your name, the current position and company, your previous position and company (along with the start and end dates), your skills and education.
Explain the gap.
You’re young, so you don’t have much experience to brag with. Moreover, you have a big gap between graduation and your first job. That’s not a huge issue if you explain it.
What did you do while you were free of job obligations? Did you use the time to take some online courses? Did you travel to see the world?
What skills did you develop? Sometimes the gap teaches you more than any job. You gained valuable experience, so let the hiring manager know what it was.
Getting only six seconds to impress may not be fair. You’re spending a great deal of time to write that resume, so you want the hiring managers to give you the attention you deserve.
Let’s be realistic: There’s great competition for any position in any industry. Hiring managers are not superheroes; they are just finding ways to make their job more productive. That’s why you need to deliver what they want to see.
Follow the tips above; you’ll get there!