6 easy tips to write a successful resume
Almost all large employers have a standard three-step pre-employment selection process:
- selection of suitable applicants by their resumes;
- initial screening of applicants via aptitude tests: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, situational judgement, etc.;
- personal interview.
If you are looking for a job, to draw attention to yourself, the first thing you should have is a well-written resume.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how HR agents look for job seekers and how to write a resume that grabs the employer’s attention.
Your resume through the eyes of an employment agent
First of all, we ask you to look at this process through the eyes of an HR agent for a minute. Sometimes we receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for a given position. In such a situation, recruiters can only skim through the text of resumes and cover letters. They will not be able to read it in full. There is a calculation showing that in such cases recruiters spends only 6 seconds to read resumes. That is, they simply scroll the text diagonally, snatching out the headline, the main highlights and the ending.
The harsh truth is that an HR agent has only 6 seconds to read your resume, which can take you more than one day to compile and polish. We believe it is very important to know this. With this in mind you can optimize your achievements, highlight the main information and present it the best way.
6 main features of a professional resume
Your headline should show not a list of positions held, not your work goals, but a short – 2-3 words – description of who you are in the professional field. For example, if you work in marketing in IT and have the skills and experience in this area, then you should write in the headline: IT marketing pro. It is clear and simple, and as a recruiter, I understand in a second who you are. This is important because employers are looking for people with specific skills.
Free space between semantic parts and paragraphs
What is it for? If the text is in a solid dense piece of test, it is impossible to read it. This way an HR agent will not even look at it, but simply delete or throw it away.
You should make wide beautiful margins, leave enough space between lines in the text when listing your positions, jobs and skills. It grabs attention and makes the text easy to read. All good marketers know this trick: a word or phrase in white space catches the eye. It is much better to compose the text in 2-3 pages, but with wide margins and spaces, than trying to “crumple” everything into 1 page.
Positioning your core skills at the top of your resume
The top section is the top third of all text, that is what the recruiter will see first. We recommend arranging information about your core 8-10 skills in 2 columns at the top. Include in this list the items that can be evaluated or measured. These can be how you saved or brought money to the company, what tasks you solved, etc. These skill columns are nicely styled on LinkedIn profiles, and we often look there for information. And when an HR agent sees skills highlighted in this way, it immediately grabs their attention and makes the job easier.
Your work history
As a reminder: an HR agent only quickly scans your resume. He or she needs to see what positions you have worked in and looks for information about professional growth – the progress of the positions that you held. It is not so important where you worked, more importantly what you did. Highlighting the jobs you have held in bold and listing them in a handy list will grab the recruiter’s attention and help him/her and, ultimately, you.
The font in the text should be large enough and easy to read. A size less than 11 is not allowed. Often there are resumes typed in 7 font size and “crammed” into one page. Understand: no one will read such a text! If a recruiter has to strain his eyes your job is wasted: he will not waste precious time on such “reading”. As we noted above, it is better to create 2-3 pages of text, but easy to read.
Contact details at the end
There are resumes where applicants do not care to write their contacts at all. Apparently, they think that an HR agent, if necessary, will find them by himself. I agree, if necessary, he/she will find them. But if he/she doesn’t really need it, and there is still a pile of other resumes on their tables to read, then no one will bother looking for your contacts.
Contacts at the end of your resume are a must. Another important point: it is advisable to have an email address that shows you as a professional. If a recruiter sees an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org, he or she is unlikely to take you seriously. Of course, no one will tell you that it is bad if you are a pro the company needs. But it will cause some laughs.
It is good form for professionals to have an appropriate address: neutral and, if possible, simple. For example: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org The phone number must be complete, with the area and country code.
In order to get your invitation for an interview or aptitude tests, you first need to get the employer’s attention by your resume. Writing it is one of the most important steps in getting a good job. Make sure your resume contains the above details and the HR agent who gets it will make sure to mark it as a good one.
Read more about resumes and job search tips:
And read more about and aptitude tests practice: