You have 6 seconds to make a concrete impression on the hiring manager and get shortlisted for your desired job.
6 seconds is not enough to convey your skills. If that were the case, you can just write “I deserve this job” and seal the deal.
But, your objective is to get the recruiter to pay attention to your resume by using relevant keywords, quantified achievements, and result-oriented bulleted statements.
In this article, we will cover these steps and help you modify your resume to pass the 6 seconds test.
Use a resume template
A clean format that looks pleasant and without any unnecessary white space can help you catch the recruiter’s attention to read it in-depth.
To do this, you need to choose a resume template that allows you to modify the document without wasting too much time in perfecting the outline.
Basically, the idea is to choose a template where you can ensure the following:
- Left-aligned layout for single-column templates.
- Using proper headers and highlighting them.
- Sticking with traditional fonts like Calibri, Time New Roman, Arial, etc.
Moreover, recruiters care more about your recent achievements and work profiles. So, follow a reverse chronological order to write the professional experience section.
Incorporate familiar keywords
A good portion of your resume will be the bullet statements under the professional experience section and recruiters are most likely to scan through the most recent profile. But, if you do not have any familiar pointers and keywords, they may just ignore the whole thing and jump on to the next application.
So, how do you include familiar keywords for the recruiter?
Recruiters look for the candidates according to the job description they have designed. So, read the job post and find keywords that you can incorporate into your resume.
Moreover, this method helps in passing the applicant tracking system as well. It is a software application that allows companies to screen resumes based on job requirements.
Choose a clear resume outline
Screening a resume within seconds basically means that recruiters are quickly navigating various information that might help in assessing your skills.
Each piece of information and all the sections should be organized in a traditional manner. For example, do not experiment with the section names and place them where they are supposed to be. Placing the resume summary at the bottom will most likely cause problems for your application.
Refer to the outline below you gain a better understanding of what the sections should look like:
- Resume header: Your name, profile tile, contact details, and links to a portfolio or LinkedIn.
- Resume summary: A paragraph of 3-4 sentences explaining your key achievements.
- Areas of expertise: Just the broad terms of your key skills.
- Technical Skills: Applicable for technical professionals.
- Work experience: Details around job profiles.
- Education & Certifications: The degrees and professional certifications.
- Additional information: Training, extracurricular achievements, publications, languages, etc.
The sections mentioned in the additional information can be equally important for your profile which may require you to move them to the top third of the document. For example, languages are highly critical for a translator, so you will have to prioritize this section.
Restrict the length of your resume
You need to restrict your resume to one page. But, if you have more than 10 years of experience, then 2 pages can be justified.
If the recruiter has to scroll through the document or flip physical pages to see what your expertise and achievements are, then you probably will not get the interview call.
Moreover, the readability of your resume and the length are co-related. For instance, if you can avoid long paragraphs and curate bullet statements, you can restrict the document to one page.
Also, create a master document where you have listed all your achievements and job responsibilities. Then, prioritize the ones that are relevant to the target profile. It will help you tick off including keywords and reduce the length of the resume.
Here are a few key takeaways from the article:
- Use a resume template that allows you to showcase your skills with traditional fonts, left-aligned layout, and proper section headings.
- Incorporate familiar keywords from the job post to gain the recruiter’s attention.
- Choose a clear resume outline and avoid experimenting with the section names.
- Make sure your resume is either one or two pages, and create a master doc to prioritize the information required by the recruiter.