It takes recruiters about 10 seconds to screen your resume. 10 seconds! Let that sink in. Within that time, the recruiter gauges the document’s readability and decides whether they want to have a conversation with you or not. This is why your resume needs to pass the eye test.
The main purpose of a resume is to sell your skills and experiences in such a way that would make any recruiter dream about contacting you. Your resume should reflect that you are a solution to the problem the vacancy presents. One way is to present your experience in a professional and clean layout. The second way is to communicate that experience clearly. This article offers some insights to keep in mind when writing your resume.
What are you doing wrongly?
Why don’t you get callbacks even though you meet all the requirements in the job description (JD)? In the last few months, I have spent about 60% of my time in recruitment. In that time span, I have seen a lot of resumes in different layouts, patterns, font types and sizes. What I have realized is there is no defined standard on how a resume should look but there is an order that it should follow. Regardless of the layout, there are pointers you should keep in mind when writing your resume.
Tips Tips Tips
- Keep it clean and simple – Your resume should look neat. Unless you’re applying for a design role, avoid flamboyant layouts and stick to monochrome (black on white background). According to this 2020 article by Kal Dimitrov on Enhancv, having certain colors on the resume can hamper readability.
- Serif, Script or Sans– While it is quite tempting to use that fancy, cursive font (Script type – Pacifico, Lobster, Sacramento) because it looks pretty; it also makes it hard to read. Serif type on the other hand are very reader-friendly. Popular Serif type include Merriweather, Playfair Display, Arvo. As a rule of thumb, screen your resume for readability by having at least 3 people peruse it. Focus on their feedback, and adjust.
- Layout – In Zety’s thoroughly enjoyable Resume Statistics 2021 (Analysis of 133,000 Documents) article, the top 5 sections on most resumes were:
- Personal Information: 99.85% of resumes
- Work Experience: 98.33%
- Education: 97.25%
- Skills: 89.81%
- Summary or Objective: 88.75%
- It’s time to lose that “References” section. Going with data from the same Zety article, the Reference section only appeared in 16% of resumes analyzed. You can be replace with other sections such as: Languages, Certificates, or even Interests. These give your application more nuance, and make your resume look more interesting.
- Work Experience – Unless it was specified in the job ad, the work experience section should be in reverse chronological order. Starting with the most recent work experience, working your way down to the earliest.
- Quantify your work experience. A lot of people find it easy to copy and paste their JD under each position held. However, this does not offer much useful information. It would be better to add numbers and results to show the impact your work had on the organization. This article by the muse shows how to quantify work experience for those who don’t work with numbers. It is also recommended to start each bullet point with action verbs.
Remember to use clearly defined section headers. Make them stand out by typing in capital letters, and adding the bold type. Whitespace is your friend. An overstuffed resume is clumsy to read, and just bad optics.
Sending out one resume for multiple applications reduces your chances of landing a job. Each position is unique and there is a need to tweak your experience to match what the advert requires. Zety crunched the numbers in their article, and their results showed that on the average, you need to send between 30 and 50 resumes to increase your chances of getting hired.
If you get stuck writing a winning resume, write us and one of our representatives will be happy to help.
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