A new study by the Harris Poll conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder confirmed that an overwhelming majority of recruiters and HR professionals invest less than two minutes reviewing a candidate’s resume. Furthermore, almost 20% of the recruiters and HR professionals surveyed stated that they invest 30 seconds or less. So what’s a job seeker to do with a shrinking window of time to capture the employer’s attention?
WOW THEM FROM THE TOP DOWN
Since the hiring manager is going to invest the bulk majority of their 30-second to 2-minute scan of your resume at the top, it’s important that you put the most newsworthy information FIRST. Include the most relevant metrics, specifics, accomplishments, and successes in the first third of your resume, and then as you complete the rest of the resume you can offer more details.
WRITE FOR THE HUMAN AND THE MACHINE
Your resume has to include keywords or buzz words that applicant tracking software will be looking for when it scans your resume, but it also has to include the right action verbs to convince the employer you’re capable of offering the company value. For a list of the best-ranked terms HR is looking for on your resume check out this list. (no link included here yet because blog isn’t live)
ADDRESS CHALLENGES HEAD ON
Minimize any “red flags” within the resume like job hopping, gaps, and long-term unemployment. These can be immediate deterrents for hiring managers. Invest your time focusing on the benefits an employer would receive from choosing you over another candidate. For example, experience, subject matter expertise, and verifiable successes (be specific here). Then don’t hesitate to address those challenges in your cover letter. Recruiters appreciate honesty and directness. If you’ve taken 2 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.
Resume writing not your strong suit? That’s OK. There are professionals who keep up with trends, standard practices, and resume writing strategies so you don’t have to.
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15 Words Hiring Manager WANT to See on Your Resume
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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