6 Tips to Succeed in 6 Seconds

pen and paper

6 Tips to Succeed in 6 Seconds

Like me, you have probably long held the belief that recruiters and hiring managers are spending a lot of time reading through your resume. You may envision them hunched over your meticulously put together CV while comparing it to those, lesser qualified, candidates. That just isn’t the case. According to the wildly successful career resource, the Ladders, recruiters and hiring managers are spending all of six seconds reviewing your resume. Count to six… that’s all the time your experience, qualifications and education has to impress those who matter most – those considering you for a new role. Before you are able to dazzle anyone with your brilliant marketing pizzazz or stun them with your outside sales prowess you are reduced to a one or two page, black and white (eggshell if you’re fancy) piece of 8.5 x 11 paper. Now what? How can you rise above the rest and make your six seconds count? I have six tips to help you shine!


  1. Put your top 8-10 qualities/qualifications at the top of your resume and in bullet-points. Are you Google Analytics certified? Awesome! Put that at the top. Do you have a fork-lift license? Great! Add it to a bullet point. Use industry related keywords (but not jargon*) to convey your relevant experience.


  1. Do not list an objective. You’re wasting valuable resume real estate. Your objective is to get the job and be awesome in the role which goes without saying (or in this case, typing). Forgo the objective and focus on your pertinent experience and qualifications. If you’re not ready to let go of your objective line try to replace it with a brief summary of your competencies. This is going to go along with your 8-10 bullet points from above but will consist of strong statements conveying the value you can offer the company with which you’re applying.


  1. Double Triple check your spelling and grammar. Read your resume out loud – read it to a friend. Have at least two sets of eyes that aren’t your own look over your resume before you send it to a potential employer. This is a given but even a past Scripps Spelling Bee winner can mistype a word. Recruiters and hiring managers very well may shred your resume at the first misplaced past participle. Don’t let that happen to you.


  1. Make sure that your resume is easy on the eyes. Your font should be easy to read and professional. Now is not the time to use that fancy chalkboard font you found on Pinterest. Times New Roman and Calibri are our personal favorites. Keep the font size between 10 and 12. No one should need a magnifying glass to read through your volunteering efforts. Conversely, the astronauts should not be able to read your work experience from the space station.


  1. Know your audience*. Chances are the first person to review your resume is not going to be an industry expert. It is likely that an internal recruiter is in charge of reviewing resumes before passing them off to a hiring manager or department supervisor. Do not use a lot of industry jargon. Keep your skill-set and qualifications to layman’s terms and expand on them once you’re talking to someone you know understands exactly what you do.


  1. Finally, “References Available Upon Request” goes the way of the objective. You don’t need to state the obvious. When you get further into the hiring process you’ll be asked to provide relevant references and, of course, you will. Your resume should be a snapshot of your career achievements and the space therein should be used in the most impactful way possible.

Good Luck!





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