Make Your Resume Stand Out Longer Than 7+ Seconds
By Mandy Ferrin
Monday, 7th June 2021

7+ seconds is the average amount of time a recruiter spends looking at your resume, In an ever-changing world of constant stimulation, that time is shrinking even more.

It doesn’t seem fair. After all, you spent a good chunk of time on your resume. You spend hours, days, possibly weeks perfecting the format. You triple-check for grammatical errors, you rewrite it several times and for what? To be skimmed over. The mere seconds that a hiring manager glazes over it is no exaggeration.

Luckily, with a few modifications, you can make your resume last longer than a few seconds! Here are some easy steps you can take to get the most out of the time you have.

Keep it Simple

When in doubt, keep things simple. Obviously, there are a few exceptions to this rule, especially for those in more creative fields like marketing. If you’re not sure if you fall in that category, it’s safe to keep the design minimalistic. Avoid logos, excessive color, graphics and images.

Although not all recruitment firms or companies use APS software, it’s best to avoid using templates off of Canva. Things tend to get clunky when the software is trying to pull out keywords. You could be missing out on some quality interviews because of it.

Remember that white space is your friend. As impressive as your employment history is, the multiple columns and long sentences aren’t going to fare well in the long haul. Stick to the highlights.

Link to a Longer Version

Do you have a comprehensive, reverse-chronological work history that includes every position you’ve held since college? If you do, your resume probably includes a lot of irrelevant information.

If you have 15 years of impressive executive experience; it can be hard (if not impossible) to follow the one-page rule. You never want to go beyond a couple of pages, so for instances where you’re struggling to confine your work, you can always link to a longer version.

The truth is that the 7-second scan is just the beginning of a recruiter’s research. An experienced recruiter is going to quickly figure out if you’re qualified, but they’ll rarely call you without looking you up on LinkedIn or doing some research. Providing a longer version accelerates the process and fast-tracks you towards the finish line.

As for your main resume, you should tighten your history down to three positions. It may not seem like a lot, but recruiters are looking for relevant information and not that time you volunteered at your fraternity’s shoe drive.

Expertise and Skills At the Top

Every resume needs action verbs and quantitative data at the top of each job description.

For example, you increased revenue by 40% or you cut 1/3 of operational costs.

If you’re doing this, it’s also safe to say that bullet points are the way to go. With only a few seconds of skim time, you want them to quickly be able to find your impact on the bottom line.

Your resume should be focused purely on professional accolades. Personal achievements are likely to come up during the interview process, so there’s no use in mentioning them, even in the extended version of your resume.

Understand, that whether it’s a recruiter or a hiring manager looking at your resume, speed is key. They’re typically sifting through dozens, or hundreds or sometimes even thousands of resumes.

If you’re currently looking for opportunities, check out our current job searches here.

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