Tips to Crafting an Effective Resume for the Cursory Glance and Deeper Read
Generally, recruiters are spending a mere few seconds on the resume as they are filtering through applications that come in. When it comes to writing an effective resume, it’s important to grab the attention of the reader on cursory glance (quick scan), but we can’t forget about the details because there’s also the deeper read (more detailed review) that happens when it gets passed HR and into the hands of the Department head. There’s a fine balance required in resume writing to satisfy both audiences.
Here are some of the inside tips to resume writing and finding the right balance:
A well-organized resume presents information of utmost importance at the top. When presenting bullet points under sections, information is also prioritized with the most important bullet point going first. Information needs to be put in clearly defined sections so the reader knows where to look. The use of white space can help the reader determine where one section ends and the next section begins. Font formatting styles like bold, underline and italics can also help draw the eye to key points on the resume, especially during the cursory glance.
An effective resume will give the reader context – meaning you help the reader understand your experiences and skills. Simply indicating keywords or responsibilities held in your past position does not tell recruiters how well you performed on the job and the type of experience you bring to the table. It’s important to add scale and numbers in resume writing. Did you manage a staff of 5 or 25? Did you manage a budget of $50,000 or $500,000? Did you work within the North American markets or Europe and Asian as well? These finer details help to paint the picture needed to relay your level of experience and how you may fit within its business and workplace culture.
What’s Your Specialty?
Many job seekers are misled into believing employers value the generalist more. On the resume, all that does it dilute your message. Focus and align your messages to clearly define your specialty and relay your successes in the area so that the employer can envision how your experiences and skills may translate to results and success for its business.
Lead with achievement and results
Many of us were taught in school to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. “First I did this, then I did that, and this is what happened at the end.” When it comes to resume writing, the process learned in school is ineffective. Lead with your achievement and results first because your mission is to first grab the attention of the reader. Once you have them, then you have the window to provide more detail. Going about the other way can makes you lose the interest of the reader, especially during the cursory glance.
An effective resume will provide a fine balance of information that can both appeal visually, capture the attention of the reader under a fast read, yet also offer the level of information necessary to demonstrate credible experience, skills and highlights in relevance. Clearly it’s no easy task and many job seekers benefit from the help of a professional resume writer to achieve it.