In my line of work in corporate recruiting and training, I see many resumes and I have developed quite a talent for being able to look at a resume for a short amount of time and either decide it’s one for the “no” pile or if it’s one worth reading thoroughly. It’s a surprise in this job market to still be seeing a good amount of subpar resumes. I thought I’d share some tips from a recruiter’s perspective that just may help you land your next job or promotion.
Top 4 things I’m looking for in a resume at first glance:
Appearance – if it isn’t great all you’ll get is a glance then tossed to the side
Make sure your skills match the job you’re applying for. Next, check your titles to make sure they really highlight your experience. Ensure that the duration you’ve been at each job is clearly highlighted. Scanning those four items typically takes around 10 seconds. If the resume has passed those I’ll check for education, secondary skills that may be helpful in the job we’re filing, the companies worked at etc.
The format is extremely important and it must look pleasing to the eye. Make it easy for the reviewer to find what they’re looking for. A splash of color, in my opinion, is an excellent option. I’m talking about a line or column of a subtle color, not a neon green sheet of paper with hot pink text. Be careful with color, but know that a tiny bit can have an eye-catching effect.
Others might disagree with me but in my opinion it’s no longer necessary to share your full home address. Something like “Denver, CO” is sufficient. Make sure to include your name, phone number and email address. I think it’s a nice personal touch to add a link to your LinkedIn profile. This is also a nice way to keep your resume short and concise while still providing details via links.
Using Bold Text
Often I see the overuse of bold text. Remember, this is to be used for the important things in order to stand out…not everything is important. Use this for things like your Name and your Job Titles. You can also use this to separate the topics of your resume such as Skills or Experience. What you don’t want to do is use it for everything including your name, phone number, email, topics of resume, companies worked for, time worked there, title, summary, accomplishments, skills, etc. Do you see where I’m going with this? Now nothing stands out as important because you’ve made everything important.
Use these tips and your resume will be even more appealing and will engage your potential employer’s eye for more than a 10 second glance.