To have a recruiter read (not skim) your résumé, you need to make it compelling and persuasive. Remember, the whole point of a resume is to persuade the recruiter / hiring manager to call you in for an interview.
If you write with that goal in mind, your résumé will look vastly different than any other run-of-the-mill resume that lands in the recruiter’s inbox. Most resumes are written strictly to list out an applicant’s job history. You do not want to do this.
You want it to highlight your skills, experiences and qualities and how they will benefit the employer.
So here are 4 tips on how to write a résumé a recruiter will actually read:
- Use a simple layout. Recruiters spend only about six seconds reviewing a résumé before making a decision to keep the resume or to trash it. So keep your layout simple. Avoid visuals and graphic elements. Make the information easy to find with a clear visual hierarchy (think bulleted lists and white spaces between highlighted jobs). Recruiters know what they are looking for; making them search for it will only cause them to hit the “delete” button.
- List benefits and results. Do not just list your job duties; describe your accomplishments in terms of benefits and results. This – more than anything – will help you stand out from the crowd. For each job or temporary assignment, develop a list of major accomplishments, placing the most emphasis on what you have done recently. Think about what problems or challenges you have faced? What actions you took to overcome them? How did your actions benefit the company? Then quantify those answers, in terms of dollars, percentages or numbers. Recruiters value workers who enhance profits and save time and money.
- Customize your résumé for the job posting. Recruiters and hiring managers look for a particular candidate who possesses every skill that they have outlined in their job description. If you want a recruiter or hiring manager to actually read your résumé, you have got to convince them you are perfect for the job. A generic résumé cannot do that.
- Sell yourself. You only have one shot to make a great impression. Compose a clear objective. State what you want to do and how you are qualified to do it. Now this may be hard, so try to devise an elevator pitch – one or two sentences that really highlight what you can bring to the job. If you need help, ask someone you trust to describe you in one sentence. Add to that your strengths and one or two outstanding skills or abilities. List your education, training, and any relevant awards, and you will have an outstanding, persuasive resume that a recruiter will actually read.
Are you currently looking for a new position? We want to help you stand out from the crowd. So send us your résumé today, and let’s get to work! We look forward to hearing from you.