So I was in HR and recruiting for few years. I worked with thousands of recruiters and I’m here to tell you what they’re looking for in a resume, what they want you to put in a resume.
What I want you to think about is their job because they get hundreds sometimes thousands of resumes for one position which means they have to skim them.
They do not read every single resume. They have about 6 seconds, studies show literally 6 seconds on average.
The other thing you need that you need to know is that their eye works in a Z pattern. Within 6 seconds they go left to right across the top of the page down across it and back over.
So knowing that information, the secret to a great resume is leveraging that and optimizing how you design your resume so that the recruiter absorbs the most amount of information about you in the shortest amount of time.
Does that make sense? How good is your resume? Do you think your resume is really ready for primetime? Do you think it meets these qualifications?
Is your resume 6 seconds worthy? Does it absorb what they need to absorb in 6 seconds?
I’m going to give you 5 tips on what you should include in a resume.
1. Have a headline
The first thing you must have on this resume is a headline. Not an objective statement, not a professional summary.
These long-winded paragraphs that people are putting at the top of their resumes are a no go. Recruiters do not read them, I can tell you right now. They go right over them.
What you need is a simple 2 or 3-word sentence or summary of your skills as a professional.
Let me give you an example if you work in digital marketing and you’ve got a lot of speciality in that area you might label yourself as a Digital Marketing Specialist.
It’s clean, it’s easy and just within a second I’m already starting to understand what your speciality is and that’s important because recruiters are hiring for specific things.
2. Make sure you have white space
Make sure that you’ve got white space on your resume.
So what is white space?
Well, it’s all that white space in between all of the words. Now I know that might sound silly but hear me out. When there is too much text on a page it is impossible to read, and recruiters will not bother to read your resume.
What you have to do is create wider margins, both on the sides, tops and bottoms, and plenty of space in between things like your work history.
The reason for that is that the eye is drawn into what it sees around the white space. In fact, all good marketers know this.
I would tell you that it’s better to have a resume that’s two or three pages long and be full of white space and easy to read, than trying to cram it all on one page and overwhelming the reader.
So make sure that you create proper white space so that recruiter can read everything on the page.
3. Key skill sets in the top field
It’s all about key skill sets in the top fold of your resume.
So what’s the top fold of your resume?
It’s the top third of the resume and if you think about it, if I’m online and I’m a recruiter and I open your resume up, that’s the first thing I’m going to see.
So besides that headline that I want in there I want two columns, your top 8 to 10 key skill sets listed right there.
Now, what are your key skill sets? Those are the things you most want to leverage yourself. They’re the things that we can measure.
They’re the things you do for a company. It’s how you save or make them money. What are the tasks that you complete?
These are the key skill sets and you often find these at the bottom of your LinkedIn profiles. So that can be a good place to look for them.
But you want to put those front and center just underneath your headline so that very quickly, I can read through them as a recruiter and go check here they have everything that I was told that I need in order to share that with the Hiring Manager.
This is going to make it really easy for them to start to form an impression about you as a professional.
4. Lead with job titles in work history
Number four is all about your work history and specifically leading with your job titles in your work history.
Now I mentioned at the beginning of this that our eye works in a Z pattern on a resume. Well, when we go down the cross of that Z what we’re looking for is your work history, your chronological work history.
That’s all the jobs that you’ve held. And as a recruiter, I’ve been trained to look at your job titles. I want to see the progression in your career and that you’ve grown with each and every job.
So by listing your job title first and bolding that, it’s going to make my eye quickly look at that and be able to analyze and see your job history progression.
It’s less important about where you worked and more important about what you did. So make sure in your work history you’re always leading with your job title and that those are bolded so that I, the recruiter, can easily skim them.
5. No font size smaller than 11pt
So similar to white space you have to make this readable and having a large enough font is key. Nothing smaller than an 11 point font should ever be on your resume.
So often I’ve seen resumes where everybody’s trying to cram it on one page so they make the font a 7, 8, 9 point font. Nobody is going to read that, it’s impossible to read.
If you make me squint, I’m tossing your resume. An 11 point font is going to make sure that it’s large enough for everyone to read, and read quickly.
As I said, I’d rather see it be 2, sometimes 3 pages long, but if I have that white space and that font at the right size I’m going to be able to easily read your resume faster and absorb who you are as a professional.
So there you have it team, the 5 things you need to put on your resume in order to get more job interviews.
To recap, let’s make sure that
- You’ve got a killer headline.
- Make sure that you have plenty of white space.
- Be sure to have those key skill sets in the top fold.
- Always have your job titles bolded and leading in your work history.
- And make sure that you don’t have anything less than an 11 point font.
These five tips are going to help make sure that your resume stands out, that it’s 6 seconds worthy, and that you get more phone calls from recruiters.