Do you know that most recruiters and hiring managers spend only 15 to 30 seconds reviewing a resume, and that time is primarily spent looking for ways to disqualify the candidate? It’s no wonder many qualified candidates are passed over.
Many resumes I receive as a recruiter are ineffective because they don’t accurately describe the candidate’s experience in a manner that matches the job’s requirements, and they don’t spell out the candidate’s accomplishments and capabilities.
Before I submit resumes to hiring managers, I often have to ask a large percentage of candidates to rewrite them, so that they are tailored to the job description. Or I might ask them to do a better job highlighting their most significant professional accomplishments, so the hiring manager can get a full picture of the skills they bring to the table.
Remember this: your resume is the first thing a company will ever see about you when you apply to a job, and if the experience a recruiter or hiring manager is looking for does not jump off the page at them, they’re going to pass you over…even if deserve the job.
So here are 3 steps you can take to write an award-winning resume that will get read.
How to Write a Great Resume
Step 1: Customize
Tailor your resume to match the job description so that anyone who gives it a 30-second look will be able to see that you are the perfect fit for the position.
- Read the job description and make a list of the experience and skillset you think the hiring manager wants to see in a candidate.
- Make sure you include that experience in your resume (only if you have it).
- Use that experience in the form of “keywords” frequently at the beginning of your resume to grab the reader’s attention.
- Match your job title to the title of the open position (once again, only if you are doing similar work). Each company may use a different job title even if the work is the same. And if your title matches the title of the open position, there is a greater chance the recruiter will slow down and read your resume.
Step 2: Clarify
Make your resume clear, concise, and easy to read – recruiters and hiring managers to spend a short amount of time reviewing resumes and you want to make sure they’re able to see all of your work highlights easily.
- Write your resume in bullet point format so the reader can easily scroll down your resume and read through all of your experience.
- Don’t use italics! They’re harder to read and take longer to comprehend.
Step 3: Quantify
Quantify your experience and accomplishments as much as possible to demonstrate that you’re the right person for the job.
If you are in sales:
- 125% of quota for this year.
- Sold $2,500,000 worth of software last year.
If you are an executive assistant:
- Over 7 years of experience providing administrative support to a CEO of an $800 million dollars publicly held company.
If you are a help desk technician:
- Handled 100 calls and emails a day to provide technical support for a company with over 15,000 employees.
Review the resume as if you are the recruiter or hiring manager; after 15-30 seconds ask yourself a couple of questions: Does your resume stand out? Does your stated experience match the needs of this position? Would you hire this person solely based on the experience listed on the resume?
If your answer is “no” to any of these questions go back and rework your resume until you the answer is a “yes”.
About The Author: Ryan Fisher has over 12 years of experience as a professional recruiter in a variety of settings, including a recruiting agency, a small business, and a publicly held billion-dollar company, and is the author of Corporate Recruiter Tells All – Tips, Secrets, and Strategies to Landing Your Dream Job.