There are many reasons recruiters will only spend 3 to 5 seconds looking at your resume. They may find that you are not what they are seeking or you are not qualified for the position they are trying to fill. Below are some suggestions to make the recruiter’s job easier so they will spend more than 5 seconds ranking your resume.
- Be sure that your qualifications meet the qualifications listed in the job description.
It is not necessary to rewrite your resume to match the job description word for word. But you should address the most important requirements and aptitudes in your resume.
A good way to achieve this goal is to create a profile at the top of the resume, directly under your name and contact information. The profile will consist of 3 to 5 bullets that can be changed for each application and emphasizes your qualifications as they relate to the job requirements.
- Work to make the formatting of your document easy to read as recruiters scan the resume.
If your formatting is difficult to read, such as a font size that is too small or there is no white space to draw the eye down the page, then recruiters will not read the document.
Be careful of formatting! It is better to leave out information that is only tangentially related to the job than to have a resume in a tiny font that no one will ever read. Be aware of font type, font size, color, margins, and spacing to create an overall pleasing look to the resume.
Proofread! Spelling and grammar mistakes are distracting – they take away from your wonderful qualifications and put the emphasis on other, less positive, areas. This candidate can’t spell! This candidate does not have a good grasp of grammar!
- Every word and piece of information on the resume should be relevant to the position. Do not focus on boring, basic information such as duties. Instead, focus on your achievements. What did you accomplish for your current and previous employers? Because that information is directly relevant to the prospective employer and the job requirements.
Finally, the resume should demonstrate that you have progressed in your career, moving from internships and entry-level positions to more responsible positions. Those who are just graduating college and entering their careers or transitioning to a new career goal, will demonstrate transferable skills.
It will take effort to write a resume and cover letter that captures the attention of the recruiter. But it is effort well spent when you are interviewed and offered the job!