I have some bad news for you; It is highly unlikely your resume will ever be read. In fact, popular statistics show hiring Managers only scan a resume for an average of 6 seconds.
6 seconds to find the right skills
6 seconds to judge your level of expertise
6 seconds to decide ‘yes or no’
A resume with simplified or poorly organized information will require the hiring manager to search and analyze for the details they need. Not only does this waste the short time you have to make an impression, but you also lose the hiring manager’s attention very quickly – even if you are perfectly qualified for the position.
This is why it is so important to have a clearly organized resume.
The good news is, you can add clarity to your resume by creating a layout that flows easily, catches attention, and showcases the key information hiring managers are scanning for – and you only need to focus on the top half of the first page. By helping hiring managers run through their ‘must have’ checklist quickly, you may even entice them to stay longer, turn the page, and read more!
Here are 3 simple tips to add clarity to your resume:
Add pizazz to your name. Use a distinctive, bold, and legible large font.
Add a Headline under your name, including 2 – 3 keywords that encompass your value and expertise using this Resume Headline Worksheet.
A Highlights section ensures the essential competencies and skills are showcased front and center. For example, if you meet or exceed the accumulated years of experience – add it in Highlights; if you have the exact 3-4 top competencies required, list them with evidence of your skills.
*Considering many organizations use filtering software (commonly known as ATS – Automatic Tracking Systems) to scan resumes for keywords – don’t be fooled into thinking the layout is less important. Once your resume makes it through the ATS, it will still face the hiring manager’s 6-second scan.
**Use this same logic in every section of your resume by, clearly defining sections using common resume titles, organize sections and work experience in a logical way, and use consistency in font styles of section titles and content.