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What Works. What Doesn’t.

Your resume is your first chance to make a good first impression

➔ The obvious question is: what makes a good resume? The jobs board released a study that focused on resumes – what works, what doesn’t and why.

Those precious few seconds

The headline grabber was that recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds reviewing a resume before making a keep-or-pitch decision on it. That’s not very comforting for any job seeker. But the study also pointed out what goes into a good resume. Essentially they boiled it down to four points.

One. Clean simple layouts are among the most readable. Clearly marked sections and titles also stand out.

Two. The best layouts are those that follow the “F” or “E” patterns. This refers to the readers eye tracking – across the top and down the left side, forming the letter “F.”

Three. An overview or mission statement clearly marked at the top of the first page tends to increase readability.

Four. Clear fonts – nothing fancy, cute or clever.

On the other hand, the study suggests three resume-reading killers.

One. A resume that is cluttered with too much content crammed into a limited space that leaves little “white space” is a huge detriment. Copy intensive resumes don’t usually get read.

Two. A poor layout that does follow the “F” or “E” patterns as noted above does not catch the reader’s eyes.

Three. Being guilty of keyword stuffing can kill a resume. Although the ATS screening software love keywords, when your resume finally lands on a human’s desk, obvious keyword stuffing is a sure trip to the trash can. The goal: use keywords judiciously, as they would naturally fall within the context of your statements.

They say that first impressions are lasting and in a job seeker’s world, your resume is most likely your chance to make that good first impression. These few tips can get you started on the right foot.


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