Did you know human resource managers and hiring recruiters spend an average of six seconds perusing a résumé? Researchers discovered that these professionals looked at your name, your current company and position, start and end date, previous employer, and education. That’s it.
Wow. You may find this perplexing after all the work you put into your résumé as well as all of your work experience, volunteer activities, and educational credentials. What’s an unemployed person to do?
It’s simple: it’s time to breathe new life into your résumé. If you’ve been out of work for six months and you haven’t had any callbacks for interviews, then it’s a sign that your current résumé (or cover letter) isn’t exactly working out as you planned. Don’t feel ashamed, though, because two-thirds of résumés are discarded upon review.
Unsure how to update your résumé to make it invigorating, radiant and professional? Here are five easy and effective ways to breathe new life into your résumé and get an interview (receiving the job is up to you).
1. Visual Hierarchy
As previously noted, hiring managers look at a few key points: name, work experience and education. This means that the first few words of each section have to grab the reader’s attention. You may want to be conservative since this is what your teachers instructed you to do, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The trick is to create a plethora of different résumés and try out different words, styles and keywords. You really have nothing to lose, but remember: focus on the visual hierarchy.
2. Online Tools
Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Well, why not try a few free online tools to establish a visual representation of your credentials? There are many digital tools to transform your résumé into "big time" mode. Free tools like Re.vu, Vizualize.me and About.me can be valuable functions. An artistic and visual depiction of your work experience, skills and education can differentiate you from your competitors. It shouldn’t be your sole feature to land an interview, but it could be a worthy aid.
3. Update the Look
Indeed, the standard résumé should be 12-point size with a Times New Roman font. That has been the rudimentary guideline for many, many years. However, what would happen if you changed it up just a bit? Why not some italics, bold points, Palatino Linotype, and larger sizes on your résumé? If you’ve been jobless for three months with the same prototypical résumé, then there is no harm in modifying the aesthetic value of your CV.
4. Proofread, Proofread... and Proofread
For some reason or another, résumé creators tend to neglect proofreading the actual résumé upon completion. Once they have worked on it for a couple of hours, they shoot it off to several businesses without taking a second glance. This is a vacuous move because each résumé should be proofread and edited. If you make a spelling mistake or grammatical error, then hiring managers will frown upon this and toss your résumé in the basket.
5. Pay Attention to the Data
Yes, data can also be translated to the world of résumés. Akin to the visual hierarchy, it’s important to understand what human resource professionals look for in résumés. For instance, this infographic from Template.net discovered a few things about the résumé etiquette of the modern day:
- 56 percent of hiring managers look for the "problem solving" keyword, while 44 percent search for the "leadership" keyword.
- 77 percent human resource leaders seek out relevant experience.
- 41 percent want résumés to be customized to the open position.
Data isn’t just a term for engineering, sales or marketing. Data can also be passed to constructing an effective résumé.
See also: Create a Rockin’ Resume
Since the economic collapse, job applicants have tried everything to get their foot in the door, such as sending a shoe alongside their résumé, presenting a 15-page document to improve the company, and buying a hiring manager coffee and spending 15 minutes to showcase their product (one’s self). It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get an interview and, hopefully, land the job – that’s all what really matters.