In the first thirty seconds of an employer seeing your resume, he can tell whether you are a good fit for the job or not. By just quickly browsing your work experience, qualifications and skills, he can make a decision about who you are and what you can bring to the role. If you fail to pass this ‘first impression’ resume screening, then your application gets rejected and your resume ends up in the no-no pile.
But, studying how recruiters make hiring decisions can help you avoid this. Try stepping into the recruiters shoes to see how they think.
Usually, when employers read your resume they are trying to find answers to the following questions:
- Can the applicant fill my need?
- Does the applicant have what it takes for the role?
- Will the candidate stay at my company long-term?
Learning what employers want to see on your resume – and effectively addressing these questions – will help you write it in a way that is more appealing. If you have ever wondered what recruiters think of your resume, take a look and find out what they think of you during that first thirty seconds.
Before They Open It
For employers details matter. So, when you are applying for a job and in the email you only write ‘, Please see attached’ you are doing it wrong. At this early stage, your job application should include as much information as necessary to help employees make a good first impression. Not explaining to them in the email who you are and why you are applying is actually riskier than cold-calling them. Instead of going in unprepared, write a cover letter that expresses your interest in the job and says a few words about who you are. This should make employers want to check out your resume.
At a Glance
Before employers begin reading, they look at resume appearance. If your resume is too short, too detailed and looks more like an essay than a summary of qualifications, employers may not be that interested. But, if it makes appropriate use of bullet points, is nicely structured and has a unique design, it’s more likely to get their attention. When writing your resume think about the font size – 10 to 12pt, colours and the format you are using.
In The First 10 Seconds
During the 10-second scan, everything is at stake because this is where it gets tough. At this point, employers filter through resumes looking for keywords that can help them get the information they need. The first things employers look at on your resume is your name, current employment status and then your work history – where you have worked and what job titles you had. Then they move on to your education and skills, trying to find industry-relevant words and phrases that can confirm you’ve understood the role and what is required.
Sadly, 80 percent of resumes are binned in less than 10 seconds. So, if you manage to get past the first 10 seconds and keep the employers’ attention, then you are more likely to get shortlisted for an interview. But, since job interviews can be a very time-consuming process employers are always looking for reasons to disqualify applicants. If they find spelling mistakes and typos, they won’t take you seriously or give you the chance to prove yourself. This is why proofreading your resume is a vital part of the writing process.
See Also: How to Choose the Best CV Format
Employers will inevitably check the quality of your application before they even open it and start judging you by your resume to create that first impression. Their goal is to get as much as information as possible from your resume and figure out how skilled and professional you are.
Have you ever wondered what recruiters are thinking when they check your resume? If yes, let me know in the comments section below…