When applying for a job, it’s important to realize that most hiring managers take a mere 6 seconds to look at your resume. As information has glutted cyberspace, our attention spans as a society have shortened significantly. Very few employers in the current market will give any attention to a resume that doesn’t quickly jump out and grab the eye. Here are just a few tips to help you produce a resume that could possibly avert a toss to the garbage bin in this busy, over stimulated job market.
Make your contact information “pop”
Get a professional graphic designer to use their skills to pull together whatever copy you give them. It’s good to use some color–typically blue, for the headers, etc. and leave the rest black. Less is more. But color, and a modern font, tends to help your resume stand apart from one with a boring typeset and old fashioned font.
Eliminate the objective
With a short attention span, most employers are concerned with just finding the perfect fit, so ditch your objective, and what “you are looking to do”. This added information just annoys the hiring manager most of the time. From their perspective, it’s not about “you” after all, it’s about them.
Skip the “skills” section. What?
It’s good when applying for a skills-based job, to list your specific requirements, but for the most part, it’s better to integrate your talents and skills into your experience section so they can see how you’ve actually applied what you’ve learned over the years.
Start the resume with a summary
This is quite different than an objective. We’re talking about who and what we are in a nutshell rather than our personal goals in working with their particular company. In this summary you can make a quick highlight of your achievements, job history and experience in a professional synopsis type of way.
Try and keep your resume in one page
Quality is better than quantity. It will take time, but it is better to hone your experience and skills into a tight and calculated paragraph rather than something wordy and drawn out. Eliminate busy graphics or uncessary run-ons; as a culture, we simply don’t have the attention for it.
Choose between two typical formats: Chronological or functional, and keep it precise.
Chronological will state all your employment, starting with the earliest on your timeline. It’s great in one sense because it shows your upward career trajectory, but, at the same time, can be too wordy and leave gaps in employment apparent and a cause for question. Functional, on the other hands, tends to focus on what you actually can DO, highlighting the skill set you have now with less of a focus on the past. This is a benefit for skill-based position.
All in all, what you need to remember is that it’s imperative that you spend a good amount of time sculpting your resume so that it’s simple, precise, clean, bold and to the point in a world that is desensitized and impatient. Don’t be afraid to highlight appropriate skills where necessary and focus on roles that are especially pertinent to the particular job you’re after.
Good luck in the job search!