Recruiters take an average of 10 seconds to review a resume. In that short time period, you must convince an employer that you are qualified for the position. Use your resume as a billboard to advertise your achievements and experience that directly align to the job description, and you’ll be that much closer to landing an interview.
Hiring managers read your resume from the top down, so the most relevant information that shows how you are a qualified candidate should be near the top. After your name and contact information, you should highlight important skills and experience in the first third of your resume to catch an employer’s eye.
“Your first section should be a skills summary in a list format for quick review,” says Teresa Obinger, director of career services for Globe University. “If a certain level of education is a requirement, you should highlight that, but the next section should be your related work experience.”
If you don’t have the necessary work experience, Obinger says education can often translate into experience. For example, two to four years of schooling can be equivalent to one to two years of work experience.
“Your class projects, course work, student group participation and volunteering can all be combined to equal required experience,” she says.
Since you need to get an employer’s attention in such a short amount of time, it’s essential that your resume stands out. Obinger suggests making it as easy as possible for an employer to read by keeping it neat and concise.
“The format is really important,” says Obinger. “Make sure you are consistent with the font, size, spacing and headers.”
One way to keep it neat and organized is to make quick, direct statements.
“Get straight to the point by using bullets instead of paragraphs,” she says. “A snap shot is more appealing to a recruiter than having to take the time to read through it.”
Obinger says the most important thing to remember when putting together your resume is to gear it specifically to the job lead.
“Match your resume to the job description with keywords,” says Obinger. “The employer will notice that right away.”
Just getting to the interview phase of a job search can be tough. If you keep your resume neat and organized, use keywords, and highlight your relevant skills, achievements and experience at the top, you’ll get a recruiter’s attention and ensure your resume gets placed in the consideration pile rather than getting passed over. To learn more about Globe University and career support services visit www.globeuniversity.edu/about-us/career-services.