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An employer usually takes about 60 seconds to screen a resume. With so many resume submissions, the task of going through each resume thoroughly one by one can become tedious and mundane. You want to gain an employer’s attention up front and retain their interest to make them want to exceed the 60 seconds. So how do you accomplish this task? Although a well formatted resume is important, it’s the content that makes the biggest difference. Having screened thousands of resumes for employers, here are some helpful suggestions our team at HR Difference want to share with you from human resources perspective:
- Describe your skills, experience and knowledge up front. You want to ensure that your descriptions are relevant to the job you are applying for.
- Italicize key words to stand out. Since an employer only takes 60 seconds to screen a resume, the italicized words represent importance and attract the reader. Again, these words should be relevant to the job posting.
- Avoid gaps in employment. You want your employment history to flow from one position to another. If you have gaps (e.g. Maternity leave, extended vacation etc.) mention it in your resume.
- Explain reason for short stay. Nothing scares employers away then a resume showing short stays at various places of employment. If these are contract or temporary positions, make sure you mention this on your resume.
- Describe key accomplishments for each position listed. This is your chance to share how you positively impacted the employer. (e.g. Lead a group of 5 people to complete a 2 million dollar system upgrade within a specific time and within budget). The accomplishments should be something you accomplished that received recognition from your superior, department or organization and not something you achieved as a group member.
- Avoid copy and paste. Whatever you do, do not copy and paste information from the job posting to your resume. Be original and show how your skills, knowledge and experience align with the job posting. Also, avoid repetition from one job to the next on your resume (e.g. If you have done the same job over the past three years with three different companies, do not copy and past your job description from one to another).
The biggest question you need to ask yourself before submitting a resume is “does my resume sell me?” If you have to think before responding or unsure, then you should seek a professional resume writer. You need to feel confident with your resume before applying for job vacancies. Along with HR Difference, there are many good resume writers available on the web. Don’t be fooled by price, cheaper or more expensive is not always better. Research a company by going to their website. If you require additional information, don’t hesitate to call or email them. A good writer will take the time to customize your resume to fit your needs and better your chances of retaining an employer’s attention longer then 60 seconds.