How to Make Your Resume Impress Employers in 7 Seconds

Resumes are your first point of contact with employers. Whether you hand them from business to business or spam them through an online job site, it's what prospecting employers will look at first and what gets you either an invite for an in-person interview or a painful rejection via phone or email. Working on your resume and ensuring it is 100 percent error-free and incorporates only key details will increase your chances of landing the desired job position. You don't want to include too much information that might confuse or bore the reader. In fact, the first seven seconds of reading your resume is the most important time. If employers are not impressed by then, it becomes more difficult to secure the job position.

Avoid Standardized Format

Standardized format makes it look like your resume was churned out from one of the many online job sites. There's no creativity or any personal touches within these pre-made templates. The employer may see you as another candidate with nothing special to offer. Make your resume as personal as possible even if you decide to capitalize on web-based job matching capabilities that automatically input data fields.

Avoid Too Long of a Resume

Employers are effective time managers, and they usually won't be reading more than three pages of resume per candidate. Regardless of how many years you've been working in the field, there is certainly no explainable reason for your resume to have more than three sheets of A4 paper. Only include details that will get you noticed and past the front doors of the company and make sure to place those at the top as well. Reading a resume that's the same length as a short eBook story can be a tedious task for any employer or HR manager.

Stay Relevant

If you are applying for a job in web design/development, it makes sense to include past websites you've built and launched successfully, and less sensible to include that you were an altar server for your school's church back in the days. Your resume and CV must make it precisely and immediately clear why they should continue reading or even invite you for an in-person interview. If you are currently working with the same job title or industry, make sure you put it right at the top of your resume where it will be immediately noticeable. It's all about rearranging information and marketing your best parts to employers.

Direct Their Attention

Employers and HR managers are trained to parse resumes and CVs for certain phrases that indicate your qualifications for the job title. Emphasize on these keywords to make sure they spot it immediately. Use a different font style or a larger font size to focus their eyes on that specific part. It will also depend on how you divided content into pieces. Job qualifications and related soft skills are usually the most relevant and should be at the top of your resume. Another thing that grabs an employer’s attention is having your own website with a link directly on the resume. If this is an online submission, then make sure to include it as a hyperlink. If you are turning it in by hand in its paper form, then have a QR code on there in one of the bottom corners so that employers can easily access it with their phones. Like Tracy Rawle does with his site, the reason why you would want to have a website for potential employers to look at is so that they can see your work experience, portfolio and get to know you beyond the resume.

Proofread and Spell-Check

Nothing can throw off your resume more than poor word choices and spelling errors. It communicates poor written skills and/or aptitude level. Use a reliable spell-checker prior sending out your resume. In addition, ask a family member, relative, or friend to spell-check and proofread your resume. The more pairs of eyes that read your resume, the lesser chance you're sending out a poorly written resume.

Making your resume impressive is a matter of attention to detail, simplicity, and prioritization. Know what the employer is looking for and dig deep down to identify relevant experiences and skills that you can push to the top of your resume and CV.

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