6 seconds, according to a study from The Ladders, is all the time you get to catch the attention of a recruiter with your resume.
…And there you are. In front of your computer, staring at the version of your resume you wrote a few months or years ago. You gained experience since then, but the exercise still sounds as mysterious as before. Where to start? What to write?
Writing a good resume is by no chance an easy exercise. It takes time and is tedious. Even if you had a trustful peer review it, you are still not sure that it will catch the attention of the hiring manager of the position you are dreaming about.
Here are 3 golden rules and 10 subsequent Do’s to an appealing resume that will convey the right message to the recruiter.
The 3 Golden Rules to “Understand” before creating a Professional Resume
1 – Understand the objectives of a resume
You think a resume should be as informative as possible? Wrong. The major attribute to a good resume is that it is an excellent Marketing Document. Similar to how an advertisement convinces you to buy a product, a resume must make a recruiter eager to meet you. Caution! Everything you mention needs to be true. But before considering it done, remember that a resume is all about personal branding.
2 – Understand the recruiter’s concerns
Forget about you, put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes: you are busy, you manage various recruiting processes at the same time and you are feeling pressured to find great talents.
What would make your life better? An application that takes 3 seconds to read through! Be empathetic – facilitate the recruiter’s job and give yourself a chance to stand out by making sure your resume goes straight to the point.
3 – Understand the job’s requirements
An untailored resume is very ineffective and underutilizes its potential. Customizing your resume to cater towards the recruiter will increase its effectiveness. Before you start working on your resume, identify the key attributes required to fulfill a position (skills, qualities, work experiences, courses, etc.). Once again put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes: what are they expecting to find in a resume for this job?
Applying for a Digital Marketing position? Think about relevant missions you endorsed, skills you gained and qualities you developed and highlight those points.
10 subsequent Do’s to create a professional resume that will impress recruiters
Do #1 – Update your resume frequently
The best moment to work on your resume is when you are NOT looking for a job. You will never be as accurate about your missions as when you are actually performing them.
Do #2 – Pay attention to format details
Yes, you have already been told. For a good reason: EVERYTHING matters in a resume. Make sure that:
- You are consistent in the font you use, the colors, the size of the core text, the spaces between paragraphs, etc.
- All elements are properly aligned (bullet points, underlines, etc.)
- All of your words are properly spelled
Do #3 – Use specific wording
Golden Rule 2 is about ensuring your resume clarity. To do so, make sure that the wording you use is accurate.
You speak German? That is great! Is your level elementary? Intermediate? Fluent?
You “were in charge of”? Awesome! Did you start it? Coordinate it? Measure it? Create it?
Do #4 – Write an executive summary
An executive summary is the movie trailer for your recruiter to watch. Make it exciting! Highlight the skills you gained, what you have been responsible for and the kind of sectors you worked in. Below is an example of a good executive summary:
I am a young professional with 3 years of work experience in B2B sales and account management in the banking and automotive industries in both startups and multinational companies. My passion for innovation led me to join a Women Entrepreneurship club. I acquired international experience by studying and working in England and Ireland for 1.5 years. My never-ending quest for personal growth, curiosity of social interactions and interest in learning always keeps me on the hunt for new challenges.
- Tip 1: write it last
- Tip 2: there is no use mentioning your “Career objective” – The recruiter only has his own in mind.
Do #5 – Highlight your hard skills
To help your recruiter read quickly through your resume, you should dedicate a section to your skills (IT, language and business). This section is ideal to highlight the great match between your profile and the job’s requirements. Is the position about Project Management and you happen to be Six Sigma certified? Say it!
Do #6 – Show your achievements
There is no better way to highlight how great you have been performing a job than a good old figure. If you increased sales, improved satisfaction or optimized a process, quantify it!
Do #7 – Chose & Select
As Golden Rule 1 goes, a resume is more of a marketing document than an information document. There is no need to say EVERYTHING about you, but say everything that is RELEVANT. Select what to mention or what to omit in your resume according to the kind of position you are applying for.
Do #8 -Adapt the form of your resume to the type of position
The general aspect and layout of your resume should be consistent with the level of formality vs creativity required by the position you are looking for. As a Graphic Designer, you can (and should!) incorporate much more originality than a Financial Controller who has to stick to more formal standards.
Do #9 – Structure your experiences
Not all experiences are WORK experiences. You probably participated in various projects, clubs, volunteering and social activities. As valuable as they are, they should be clearly distinguished from work experiences. The best solution is to dedicate a section of your resume to them…keeping in mind Do #7.
Do #10 – Update your LinkedIn profile accordingly
Chances are recruiters will visit your Linkedin profile (what you are being endorsed for, who are your influencers, the groups you belong to, etc.). Make sure to indicate the link to your profile on your resume, and before that, to update your Linkedin profile accordingly.