A resume is an incredibly important item in the job search but to get noticed, it needs to be easily readable and quick to scan. Most resumes only receive a 6-second look from a job recruiter. This is how long it takes to skim a resume to decide if it will be sent on to a hiring manager. An article from the Wall Street Journal showed the importance of making a good impression quickly.
Speed is of the essence because employment recruiters often receive hundreds of online applications, and they only have a few moments to decide who will move on to the next level. To fit in this brief time limit, it is necessary to create a resume that is easy to skim.
8 Tips to Create an Easy-to-Read Resume
- Highlight key skills related to the position. – This should be at the top of the page, so it is the first thing the recruiter sees.
- Remove the professional statement. – Replace this with a one-sentence headline. This should include your occupational specialty and words that match the role for which you are applying. For example, “project manager,” “customer service,” “paralegal,” etc.
- Mimic language used in the job description. – The computer system that recruiters use will look for words like the job description. If the computer program does not find those words, it is likely to reject the resume.
- Use bullet points to describe skills. – Under the one-sentence headline, create two short columns of bullets, listing your concrete skills. Again, use similar language to the job listing.
- Create a resume that is specific to the job you are looking for. – While it can be tempting to list all your skills and jobs, keep the resume focused. List the jobs that best highlight your skills for the job.
- Demonstrate skills with numbers. – Numbers are less subjective than words and can be a clever way to quickly show your abilities.
- Prioritize your LinkedIn profile. – Recruiters make frequent use of LinkedIn to look for potential candidates. Also, make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile match.
- Refresh your LinkedIn profile often. – Switching up keywords in your profile can help attract new searches. You can also use hashtags to align with skills. Adjust privacy settings to be open to invitations, but do not use LinkedIn’s “Open to Work” banner.
Create a resume that you can be proud of, and then talk to the job recruiters at Staffing Kansas City.