Before writing one's resume every job seeker should realize that this document is one's only and the most powerful marketing tool. The reason is that HR Manager when reviewing your resume will have only this document to judge what kind of candidate are you. It will eventually result in whether you will be invited for a job interview or you will be left to wonder why you are not being contacted by the employer. That means that before you ever receive an interview invitation, your resume is the only opportunity to show your credibility and professionalism to potential employers. To make matters even worse for job seekers, they have about 10 seconds to make that first impression. Depending on how well they pass through this stage, they will either be selected for an interview or their resume will be thrown to the discard pile. So 10 seconds is about all you have to prove you are a good match for the opening and that you should be considered for the position.
Smart Resume Writing Helps Win Job Interviews
When it comes to resume writing, content is king. Thousands of articles about how to create a professional resume are written to explain what kind of content hiring authorities expect from candidates. Most of them emphasize the importance of relevant experience and accomplishments. However, effective resume writing is not only about writing content that will generate employers' interest instantly. There are some other things that help job seekers secure job interviews. Those things are often overlooked by inexperienced resume writers as well as job hunters but they are very important in terms of making a strong first impression within 10 seconds. As we have mentioned earlier, this is what it takes for an HR to evaluate and decide on a resume. Being aware of that, we have developed a few recommendations that will help job seekers make a good first impression within this period of time.
- Choose an easy to read font. This is where good readability starts. Great and somewhat classic choices are Bookman Old Style, Helvetica, Garamond, Arial, and Calibri. Some of the fonts make it difficult to quickly scan a document and find needed information in the text. Therefore, one should be careful about making the right font choice.
- Apply proportional margins throughout the document. Right proportions are important for good readability too. Since you have only 10 seconds to make a strong first impression with your resume, make sure all of the margins are proportional. Usually, 1 inch is a good choice for resume writing.
- Use bullet points and make sure they are evenly aligned. Bullet statements are much better for perception than a solid block of text. When describing your accomplishments or responsibilities, organize this piece of information in the form of a bulleted list. It is important for all of the bullet points to be evenly aligned.
- Leave enough of white space on a resume. Don't attempt to squeeze everything into one page leaving no white space on the document. Instead, maintain a balanced ration of white space to text. This will result in your resume looking "cleaner".
- Don't experiment with colorful designs unless you are a designer. The thing is that very often such experiments don't end very well for job seekers. So-called fancy graphic elements and colors can distract employers from the content.
- Break up the text. Make sure your resume is divided into sections - that should be seen from the first seconds of reviewing the document. Use lines to break up the text. Also, the content within one section should also be separated by white space for better readability.
How Can These Tips Help Make a Strong First Impression in 10 Seconds?
They can't if you really have nothing to offer to potential employers (in other words, you don't have relevant qualifications, skills, and experience to fill in the position and successfully perform in the role). However, if you are a good match, the aforementioned recommendations will ensure hiring managers will be able to spot your key strengths on a resume quickly enough. The main task of these tips is to help job seekers organize information on a resume in a way that will help them make a strong first impression in 5-10 seconds. But again, without any substantial experience and relevant skills, it will unlikely do any good at all.