August 25, 2022 | In Articles

How to make your resume impress a recruiter in 6 seconds

How to make your resume impress a recruiter in 6 seconds

I am going to let you in on a huge secret.

We don't have all the time in the world, so you might want to pay close attention.

Are you ready?

After reading the first sentences, you either wanted to read on or thought, "I do not have time for this".

Which was your reaction? Did I grab your attention?

Really, there is no big secret or at least none I am willing to tell at this point, haha.

Human beings have an attention span as short as the weekend.

In a world where everything is connected and stimulation constant, our attention spans are getting shorter.

How long does it usually take to form an opinion of someone you have just met for the first time ever?

What factors usually decide if someone is worth listening to?

When I meet someone for the first time, I usually form an opinion about them in less than a minute.

If it takes less than a minute for me to form an opinion, imagine how short a time it'll take for a recruiter to form an opinion about you through your resume. Note that he or she is probably reviewing 100s of other resumes.

As a matter of fact, according to CNBC, you have only 6 seconds to grab a recruiter's attention.

"you have only 6 seconds to grab a recruiter's attention."


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Good Job Bad Pay Vs Bad Job Good Pay


A quick skim through your resume will inform them if it should make the shortlist - the point where they would pay a little more attention to it.

How can we make it to this shortlist?

Keywords are Key (literally)

These are words you can find in the job description or on the company website that relate to the requirements for the job

Suppose a company is looking for a Human Resources Manager who can develop effective relationships with line managers and provide professional HR services.

Then some keywords you can use in your resume to make sure it gets the attention of the recruiter are:

• Extensive experience sourcing.

• Hiring and retaining high-performing individuals.

• Training and mentoring.

Apart from the job description or the website, you could also try looking at similar job postings to determine which key phrases are used most frequently. Look closely at the job description's sections on responsibilities and qualifications.

Make sure these keywords stand out in the resume and speak to the specific job description.

If the job description is looking for a sofware developer with experience in object-oriented programming, make sure the recruiter can easily see object-oriented programming in your resume.

Quantify Your Achievements

Employers want to know how you can benefit them and their business.

Add phrases that quantify your influence numerically.

They want to see numbers.

What percentage did you improve previous KPIs by? etc. For instance, instead of saying "Brought more customers for the business", you could say "Increased sales by X%".

...instead of saying "Brought more customers for the business", you could say " Increased sales by X%"

Be Concise

Will you be interested in an article that explains the difference between a CV and a Resume? Type yes/no in the comment section.

Ideally, a resume should not exceed one page. However, a CV, which will typically include relevant experience over a number of years, can go beyond a page. Hover over me.

Ideally, a resume should not exceed one page.

Reduce your word count and go straight to the point; using too many words would make it challenging for the recruiter to concentrate on keywords.

Also, having the entire page of your resume filled edge to edge with no space between the paragraphs makes your resume as painful to look at as a cluttered room.

Make use of white space and use a reasonably sized font that is clear and easy to read.

It is essential that you do not include any material or information that could divert the recruiter's attention away from your genuine qualifications or influence their decision.

Below is a list of some things that your resume is better off without:

• Your age

• A headshot/Passport photo

• Your religious or political affiliation

• Typos and grammatical errors

• References

• A GPA below 3.0 (Unless required

Cut Your Coat According to the Job

In less dramatic terms, tailor your resume.

Unless you can connect the job experience gained from the 3 months as a fufu pounder in your aunt's chop bar to the job you are applying for, there is absolutely no need to add it.

What you are trying to do when you turn in your resume is to let the employer know that you are qualified for that role.

Not to show off all the places you have worked.

PRO TIP: If you have an online portfolio, blog or website, you should put the link on your resume. This is, however, not mandatory.

As mentioned earlier, your resume has about 6 seconds give or take to impress a recruiter.

Take the few extra minutes to create a resume that is good enough to get you the job within 6 seconds.

Find below a sample resume that summarises all they key points we have made today.

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Comments (1)

Tutsi Dokyi

Wow!!! Very well said. Thanks for sharing this very insightful piece. 👏

2022-09-02 02:10:26

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