An overwhelming majority of recruiters and HR professionals invest less than two minutes reviewing a candidate’s resume, according to a survey CareerBuilder recently completed.
Additionally, almost 20% of the HR professionals surveyed stated that they invest 30 seconds or less. Talk about a shrinking window of time to capture the employer’s attention! So, what’s a job seeker to do?
1. Make It Newsworthy
The hiring manager will invest most of their 30-second to 2-minute scan of your resume at the top, so it’s imperative that you put the most noteworthy content first. Furthermore, don’t be vague! Use significant metrics, accomplishments, and successes—and be specific. As you continue writing the resume you can go into greater detail under each individual place of employment.
2. Write For All Of Your Audiences
Resumes have two audiences: the applicant tracking software (ATS) scanning the resume for keywords, and the HR person reviewing the resume to ensure it’s a match. It needs to include the keywords ATS will be looking for when it scans your resume, but it also needs the right action verbs, accomplishments, and relevant achievements to win over the HR person. For a list of the best-ranked terms HR is looking for on your resume, check out this list.
3. Be Honest
Instances of job hopping, employment gaps, and long-term unemployment can be immediate deterrents for employers. Instead, focus on the benefits an employer receives by choosing you over someone else with similar experience.
For example, your unique subject matter expertise, verifiable successes (be specific here), and unmatched experience are all great tools to substantiate your candidacy. Leverage them on your resume! Don’t hesitate to address challenges in your cover letter. Recruiters appreciate honesty and directness. If you’ve taken two years off to care for an ailing family member, there’s no shame in it; and it shows you know how to prioritize and put others first—desirable qualities in any great employee.
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About the author
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you have any questions.
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