A common complaint about today’s job application process is fear of The Black Hole: Applying for a job with your resume, and the resume is sent into a seemingly endless void, never to be viewed or spoken of again. The candidate is left frustrated and confused, never hearing follow up from the employer.
But whether the resume is being viewed by an actual Recruiter or Hiring Manager or being entered into an applicant tracking program, there are simple ways to get noticed and have your resume pushed to the top of the pile.
With so many applications being submitted for every role, Recruiters and Hiring Managers don’t always have the time to review your resume word for word. The Six Second Resume is the theory that your resume should be polished and noteworthy enough in six seconds that it will catch the manager’s eye and be passed along for consideration. Statistically, that’s how long your resume is being looked at.
Try fixing up your resume with these quick tricks:
1. Skills & Accomplishments on Top
Tying into the Six Second Resume is the fact that in reality, your resume only has a moment in the spotlight to draw attention and make the cut.
Listing your skill set at the top of your resume is a quick way to showcase applicable skills and accomplishments instead of making the manager search for them.
2. Formatting, Formatting, Formatting
In today’s tech-savvy world, having a clean, polished and easy to read resume is everything. Reverse chronological formatting, in which the applicant lists their work experience over the last decade starting with the most recent in the timeline, is still a popular formatting technique that allows the recruiter or manager to easily see skill progression throughout the candidate’s career.
Things to avoid:
Lengthy objections/overviews/summaries. The candidate’s objective and summary, in many instances, has been replaced by a simple statement, such as “Marketing Automation Professional.” Avoid using “I” on your resume; this is a stale format.
3. Keyword Adaptability
For each job, the Recruiter, Hiring Manager, or applicant tracking system is looking for keywords that quickly show the applicant is qualified for the position.
According to CNN, as much as 51% of all resumes are processed via applicant tracking systems that are searching for particular keywords within the resume.
For this reason, it’s wise to have an adaptable resume. Instead of sending out one uniform document, modify the resume for each role you apply to in accordance with the role. Add applicable keywords (so long as they are true to your skill set!) that will be picked up by tracking systems or someone scanning the resume.
4. Keep it Concise
As a result of the digital age, our attention spans are getting shorter. This means it’s more important than ever before to keep it succinct and to the point. Avoid chunky blocks of text; instead, bulleted lists are a good way to list important accomplishments.
And while it’s difficult to keep the resume to the recommended one page in reality, two pages max is a good working parameter that keeps the resume from getting too rambly.
For more resume tips and tricks, see our blog post on Runaway Resumes.