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The 6 Second Resume

A study conducted by “The Ladders” showed that recruiters took an average of 6 seconds to review resumes and there is no faster way to lose out on a potential job, then to not be considered at all. This post will help you maximize those precise seconds with a focused and easy to digest resume.

Cut The Fat:

Resumes are precious real estate, and although you don’t need to adhere to the “1-page resume” myth, it’s a good idea to remove information that isn’t relevant. Hobbies? Personal Interests? Generic phrases like “Hard-worker and Go-getter”? These would be fine to bring up in an interview, but it’s distracting noise on your resume. You also want to steer away from listing your basic job duties and keep your resume focused on your accomplishments. We know as a customer service representative that you most likely “Talked to customers” and “Performed data entry”, but what type of calls were they? What software did you use? These are the things that will make your resume stand out from the crowd.

Dress For The Job You Want:

Yes, we are still talking resumes here. Spending a few extra minutes to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for can make a massive difference, especially if you are going for a position that is a little outside your previous experience. Many candidates will have 1 resume that they will send out to 10 different positions, but each position is looking for something slightly different. Highlight specifics about what you did in your previous job that makes you a fit for this position. Read the job description carefully and use keywords that they are looking for. Did you use a software they are looking for? Do they call customers, “Claimants”? Small changes like this will make a recruiter’s eyes lock on and pick up the phone.

Contract Tenure Pains:

Bad tenure is a massive red flag because people associate it with turnover, but it doesn’t need to be your resume’s death sentence. Whether you have been a professional consultant for 20 years, or just picked up 4 short term contracts in the last 6 months, try grouping your contract experience. Having one job listing for consecutive contract roles is a lot nicer to look at then 4 separate entries that only lasted a few months each. This is a great way to clean up your resume and to help avoid being not considered for poor tenure.

Formatting Woes:

Less is more. Don’t get me wrong, I love crazy fonts and wacky grids, but computers and software can wreak havoc on resumes that use these, making them not look as intended and often not showing up at all. Keep your formatting nice a simple. Avoid pictures, odd borders, inserted tables and anything else that might affect the way you’re resume shows up on the other end. Also, as more companies use Applicant Tracking Systems to search and find previous applicants, simple formatting will help make sure your resume doesn’t get lost into the abyss. Are you unsure on how to format your resume? Reach out to a QuestPro recruiter. We are always happy to help.

Avoid The Spray and Pray Method:

Applying randomly to 1000 jobs through indeed is not a good use of your time. Find a handful of positions that generally interest you and use the tips above to make your resume stand out. Use LinkedIn or other social media to network with the hiring managers/recruiters/employees of the companies you’re interested in and let them know that you exist. This goes so far in showing that you are willing to work for the position you want. Having a manager or employee drop your resume on the recruiter’s desk will make sure that you are the first and possibly the last resume they need to look at.

Happy Hunting!

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