In this fast-paced world, everyone is busy. Really busy.
Somewhere along the way, as technology improved and our lives became more hectic, our once long attention spans have been shortened to within just a few minutes. People seem more likely to be read 140 characters in a tweet instead of a 250 page novel.
The same rapid pace theory applies in the world of recruitment and job hunting. Recruiters and HR managers can receive dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of applications for any given job.
Research has shown that recruiters spend around 6 seconds – just a few blinks of the eye – to decide what they think of your resume.
Knowing this is your target audience, here are some tips to last longer in their attention span than 6 seconds.
MAKE SURE YOU RESPOND DIRECTLY AND HOLISTICALLY TO THE JOB ADVERTISEMENT
There is nothing worse for a recruiter to receive a resume and cover letter from someone who just isn’t right for the job. Pay close attention to what the job is all about and respond directly to the keywords in the advertisement.
PUT THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION AT THE VERY TOP
Just like those 140 character tweets or a quick Facebook status update, you’ve got to make sure the most vital, relevant and important information is sitting at the top of your resume. There’s no point burying all the good stuff down the bottom because with only 6 seconds to make a judgement call, the recruiter won’t make it to the bottom of the page.
BRANDING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER BEFORE
With marketing and advertising encroaching on just about every corner of our lives, it’s important to consider yourself and your resume as your “brand”. You can use a few keywords to sum up your brand in a statement at the top of the page, or incorporate a consistent design that is unique to your personal brand.
CONSIDER A SPECIFIC SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS PROFILE STATEMENT
You may have lots of certificates and qualifications, but are they relevant to the job you’re applying for? Make sure you highlight the relevant and specific skills and qualifications you have for each particular job. You can include a profile statement in your resume of a few sentences long that highlights the specific reasons you are perfect for the job.
DESIGN AND LAYOUT IS CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS
With such a short window of time to impress recruiters, you’ve got to make sure your resume looks great. Don’t over-complicate it with fancy pictures, fonts and graphics. Make it striking to grab attention, but don’t overdo it. Consider getting a design or resume professional to lay out your resume.
SPELLCHECK AND SPELLCHECK AGAIN!
There are few things worse for a recruiter than seeing a good applicant with a resume that contains spelling or grammatical errors. Take extra care to review the resume for these potential mistakes, and ask a friend or family member to proofread it as well.