10 Tips to Making a Great Resume in 2016
According to studies conducted by Microsoft Corp., people now have an attention span of 8 seconds. That means recruiters and hiring managers spend 8 seconds skimming and scanning through resumes. This is a significant drop from the 12-second attention span in the year 2000. As a result, how we write our resumes have also changed to make sure that they don’t end up in the forgotten or rejected pile. Here are some great tips to help you tailor your resume and increase your chances of being chosen for an interview.
Brief sentences are more powerful. Include the main points without overdoing the details. They are easier to read, making sure that the hiring manager won’t skip on the important information that you want them to know, such as your brand statement and key accomplishments. Use italics and bolds to highlight key words and phrases. Bullet points are still fine, as long as you don’t riddle the whole page with them. You don’t have to include your elementary or high school information, or your hobbies, or credit card information. They are important, of course, but they are not crucial, or even necessary.
One helpful tip that you can try when crafting your resume is to include everything that you think is applicable to the job opportunity. Once you have written all that down, delete everything that’s not that important. Check if the information that you put down is crucial to the employee profile that you are trying to create for the employer. If it’s not, scratch it. Review each word and edit until you make it concise.
Hiring managers go through hundreds of resumes each day. Your job is to make them stop and pick your resume to read through, and possibly give you a call and invite you for an interview. Make sure that your resume has the things that they look out for first, like your branding statement, job positions, dates, bullet points, and bold keywords.
Make your branding statement stand out, and supply the most important information about yourself on the top half of the page. You can do away with the career or profile summary and replace it with a profile snapshot. Use short but positive and powerful sentences.
Hiring managers are very busy people. If you can hyperlink your email address right there on your resume, you’re making their jobs easier. Just one click and they can already shoot you an email to ask when’s the best time to call you for a brief phone interview.
If you’re applying for a job as a social media manager, for example, you can also place active links on your resume to your Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, or Facebook profiles. This will save them valuable time trying to look up your social media handle and checking your social media accounts.
This depends on the industry you belong to, of course. People who work in the artistic and creative fields get more creative leeway than, say, people who work in banking or education. You can use more colors to make the page more unique, but keep it professional looking. Try blue or grey for your headers, and leave everything else color black. Instead of using Times New Roman, use fonts like Georgia, Calibri, and Cambria.
Using current technology, some large companies commonly use special software that help them weed out job applicants. Make sure that your resume contains the right keywords so that it passes through. One way you can do that is to mirror how the job posting was written. Sometimes, even changing ‘customer service’ to something like ‘client relations’ can also get your resume through. Or not. So pay attention to the small details.
Hiring managers don’t want to read a long list of all your job responsibilities. They want to know all the things that you have managed to accomplish during your stint with this particular company. If you were responsible for bringing in a major client or for closing a major sale, write that on your resume. Highlight your bestselling points and your transferrable skills, but keep it short and sweet. Remember that your resume is a sales and marketing tool of yourself, not a grocery list. If there’s any time that you should be bragging about your professional achievements, that time is now.
There’s a reason why Twitter is such a huge success. Tweets composed of just 140 characters are one of the main reasons. You, too, can apply the same formula when writing sentences in your resume. Try to write them in 140 characters or less. Tweet-sized resumes are the way to go these days with everyone’s decreasing attention spans. You can shorten your sentences without losing their effectiveness.
They may never replace the good old resume that we’ve grown accustomed to, and they may not work for all job seekers. However, their popularity just continues to grow. Visuals, such as infographics, are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than a regular text. People also just remember 20% of what they read as compared to 80% of what they see. Putting color visuals also increases people’s willingness to read. Which is why infographic resumes are quite effective.
You can have a two-page resume, especially if you have over twenty years of professional experience. But if you can keep it to one page, do so. Conserve space by using concise but valuable words. If it does not need to be on your resume, don’t put it there. Don’t state the obvious as well. Focus on your best and strong points while keeping it short and sweet. You want to give the hiring manager enough information about you without bombarding them with all there is to know about you and your family.
Hitting the job market soon? If you’re interested for more, here are additional tips with our previous year’s article on 8 steps in fixing your resume.