How to Craft a “6 Second” Resume
The average recruiter spends six seconds perusing a resume. What this means is that your resume should be compelling enough at a quick glance that recruiters go, “Hmm, I want to spend a minute looking at this.” Here’s how to pack as much as impact as possible into a few tiny seconds.
Organize your resume with strategic headers
The impact of section headers can be huge when utilized appropriately. For example, many resumes have headers reading “Education,” “Experience,” and “Skills.” In other words, the same old, tired headers that recruiters see so many times every day that they cease to do anything.
To improve your current headers, make them a little more specific and align them to the job you are applying for. Opt for headers such as “Marketing Experience” instead of “Experience,” and “Management Skills” instead of “Skills.”
Pay attention to where you put keywords
Look at the top fourth or top third of your resume. What sections are there? Possibly education, some work experience, maybe part of your skills section. Use the skills and attributes that the job description emphasizes as keywords in that upper part of your resume. For instance, say the description of an accountant position went big on requiring financial controls. Plug that keyword in, and describe how you effectively practiced financial controls at your previous or current job. You may need to reorganize your resume sections for the best fit.
Realize that not all employers are equal
Say you used to work at a tiny law office as well as at the White House. Even if the White House was only an internship, it’s an extremely prestigious position. If you worked for Apple, Nike, Cover Girl or other well-known companies, you make more of an impact if you bold company names instead of your job title and consider organizing your resume in a way that the jobs at the prestigious companies do their due diligence. This may mean emphasizing skills or results more than chronological experience if your big-name position was several jobs ago.