Studies have shown that this is the average time it takes for a woman to swipe left on a less than desirable looking prospect. While an employer may spend a little more time looking at your resume than you do on your Tinder account trying to find that someone special, it doesn’t take long for them to make up there mind so make sure it is worth considering.
Swipe Right. That is what you are hoping the hiring manager is going to do with your professionally written resume. Let’s be honest, whether it’s while looking on a dating app, flipping through channels on the television, scrolling through your Twitter feed or deciding what to eat at a restaurant, you make snap decisions every single day. That is also what an employer does with your resume. The first question they will ask themselves when they see it is, “Why do I care?”. So what makes them want to swipe you right up for the interview?
1. Dress for Success
First and foremost, just like you would dress for success when you land the interview, you want your resume to look just as impressive because that is the first thing they will see.
- Formatting is key no matter what – You want them to be able to easily find the information they need and for that information to be clear and concise.
- Have distinctly marked sections so specific information is easy to locate.
- Put your most recent work experience first and then work backwards.
- Add numbers! “Lowered supply costs by 60-65% within the past two years.” This emphasizes your true impact within the company.
- Highlight your main talents in a short, but descriptive way. Most employers are going to skim the document. If it is too bogged down with unnecessary details, they are throwing it out.
- Make sure to fill the page! Big margins are a BIG problem. It immediately signals to the employer that you don’t have much experience. However, no white space at all will make it look like a cluttered mess. Aim for a goldilocks resume. You want it to be just right.
- Ctrl+F : Use it to make sure you didn’t use the same word OVER AND OVER again. Synonyms are your best friend with this document.
- Skills: Abilities, expertise, proficiency, experience, or aptitude
- Performs: conducts, serves, manages, administers, directs, achieves, operates, or displays
- Established: spearheaded, developed, created, founded, chartered, initiated, organized or instituted
- Think about the industry you are looking to work in – Is it creative? Is it technical? Is somewhere where the staff will be older? Younger? If you are going into more of a creative field, consider straying from the stereotypical black and white and use some color! Depending on the job, add a photo of yourself to help you stand out. Going more technical? Include infographics to quickly and effectively highlight your expertise.
- Check your work! Ensure there are no grammatical errors and open the document on multiple devices to ensure there are no glitches in formatting. The last thing you want is for them to have their phone on them when they receive your resume and the information get jumbled due to format changes on a smaller screen.
- PRO TIP: Read the resume outloud before you submit it.
Our brains have the innate ability to fill in the blanks and decipher what is supposed to be on the page when we know the context of what is written. This unfortunately causes us to miss simple errors that will be glaringly obvious to someone who doesn’t know the information right off the bat.
- Coordinate your documents: If you are including a cover letter, a references page or writing samples, make sure the fonts, colors and formatting all match.
2. Do Your Research
The second thing to remember is that you are applying for a SPECIFIC job. Even if you are more than qualified, if the skills they are looking for aren’t listed, your resume just went in the trash. You are about to enter into a very committed relationship, spending 8+ hours a day for however many years with this company, so take an hour or two to read the specifics of the job and look up the company values.
- If your experience involves specific items that they documented in the job description, make sure that those bullet points are closer to the top of each section.
- Include a professional summary where you highlight how you have these same values and skills that they hope to obtain in a candidate.
- Research the hiring manager, your future boss and anyone else in the hiring food chain to make sure that you are appealing to them on paper. If there is something in their background that you have in common, that is something to include in the document.
3. Show Your Swagger
Finally, the point of a resume is to brag on yourself and why YOU are the best candidate for the job.
- Think of five words to describe yourself and incorporate those traits into your resume.
- Use action words to really stress your abilities and accentuate the difference you made in prior positions like “accelerated”, “mobilized”, “maximized”, “boosted”, and “forecasted”.
- Incorporate a key achievements section. This should have awards, acknowledgements, special training and anything else that makes you stand above the rest.
- Think outside the box! Ask yourself, when have I gone above and beyond? When have I taken on a project that isn’t under my normal job title? Have I taken on extra roles when we have been short staffed?