Here's a little tough truth: although you may have logged hours and hours writing, editing and proofreading your resume, it has been shown that most hiring managers and recruiters only give it about 6 seconds of attention on average. Strategically placing the right information in the right places helps your resume get maximum results with each passing glance. Here's how to make the biggest impression, quickly.
It's a safe bet that most hiring managers aren't going through each of your resume's bullet points one by one. The trick to making sure they receive the most important information is to include a career summary at the top of the page. A welcome alternative to an objective statement, your career summary is the text equivalent of an elevator pitch — it explains who you are, what you do and how you can add value to a company. Of all the jobs you've held, projects you've managed or courses you've completed, choose the top three or four strongest and include them in your summary. That way, even if the hiring manager doesn't venture beyond the top half of the page, he still has a good idea of what you can do for the company.
Keywords are mandatory for getting through applicant tracking software systems, but they're just as important to use even when your resume is being scanned by human eyes. Once a recruiter scans your contact information, job history and major qualifications, he may then look for words and phrases that make you a good fit for the job and the company. Search the company's website and social media profiles for clues about its vision, values and philosophies, and make connections with your own history where you can. For instance, is the firm committed to superb customer service? Then, be sure to emphasize your customer service background at prominent places within your resume.
When reading a text-heavy document, human eyes are naturally drawn to numbers; they help break up the monotony of words. Use this to your advantage by inserting numerical data wherever you can within your resume. Don't just mention your extensive leadership experience; detail how you led a team of 12 employees on three major projects from 2015 to 2016. Instead of talking about your money management skills, show how you saved your company over $200,000 quarterly. Adding the numerical details validates what you say and makes your resume more eye-catching.
With only 6 seconds to make an impression, you have to make them count. Keep all important information front and center, use keywords that align with the company's values and use numbers to beef up your work experience. These tips help increase your chances of getting a callback by optimizing your resume to appeal to the hiring manager's eyes.
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