Social media is a helpful communication tool for businesses as it allows them to communicate directly with customers and engage them in conversations. Social media can also help you to increase your customers’ brand awareness and find new contacts or business opportunities. If you want to become active on social media, but don’t know [...]
Business Makeover Library
Makeover Your Résumé to Pass the 6-Second Test
Are you experienced and qualified, but getting nowhere with your job search? It might be time for a résumé makeover!
Recent research from online job matching firm The Ladders found that recruiters only spend 6 seconds on average reading individual résumés. While other reports suggest that recruiters spend a little longer – up to 30 seconds – on their assessment of résumés, the overall message is clear.
To give yourself the best chance of being shortlisted for an interview, you need to ensure that your résumé is written so compellingly that within a few seconds it positions you as a leading candidate.
Many people find it very hard to write about themselves, but your résumé isn’t the place to hold back on self-promotion - there’s no point in being the perfect candidate if no-one knows!
So how to makeover your résumé to position yourself as that perfect candidate?
Here are six tips – one for each second you have to impress your recruiter or prospective employer!
One way to stand out from the crowd is to include a strategically written 5-8 point Profile under your contact details on the first page.
Tailor your Profile to the position of interest, using industry and position-specific keywords wherever possible, while retaining readability and flow. Your Profile should provide an overview of the value you can add to the role, rather than being a mini-résumé, so keep it brief and succinct.
Another strong positioning tool is to include relevant testimonials on the first page, just under the Profile section. You don’t need to include names/titles of the writers – in fact, it’s best not to - the testimonials themselves will suffice.
Including a career summary in the form of a two-column table highlights your relevant work experience in an efficient way that makes the most of those six seconds.
Head up the first column “Position” and use it to list your job title and your employment start and finish dates. Head up column 2 with the title “Organisation” and use it to give a brief overview of each organisation you worked for and to outline, in two to three lines, the duties you undertook that most closely match those of the position you’re interested in.
Keep it Current
Even if you haven’t changed jobs since you last updated your résumé, the breadth and depth of your experience has probably changed. Remembering that your résumé’s main function is to serve as marketing tool to open interview doors, make sure that you keep it updated with changes in your responsibilities, job title and achievements, so it always presents you in the most up-to-date and marketable way.
Polish Your Presentation
Proofread your résumé carefully to ensure your presentation is polished. Consider the document’s formatting and its overall appearance and check it for grammar as well as spelling. It’s surprisingly easy to overlook your own typos, so it’s a good idea to ask someone else to check it for you – and to check that you have positioned yourself strongly, you could also ask them what they see as your claims to the role you are applying for. If your suitability for the role isn’t clear to your reader, it would be wise to revisit your Profile and Career Summary and reassess their focus.
Be Consistent Across All Your Job Search Channels
With over 80% of recruiters and over 50% of employers now using social media to identify suitable candidates, it’s essential that your résumé is congruent with your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and other online profiles.
And because your résumé needs to reflect your online brand, include relevant social media URLs on your résumé, as well as ensuring that there are no contradictions between your online profiles and your paper-based material.
Don’t go overboard with detail - the purpose of this section is to attract the reader’s attention so they want to read the rest of your résumé, where you can elaborate further.