Studies have shown that the average recruiter scans a resume for 6 seconds before deciding if the applicant is a good fit for the role. In other words, you only get 6 seconds to capture the hiring manager’s attention and convince them you are the only professional for the job. So, how to pass the 6-second resume test? Try to make your resume as simple as possible to read and try to include the following points in the resume.

Resume Format

Use one of the common resume formats. Don’t use creative graphic resumes. Place the most important information at the top in your resume headline, professional summary, and core competencies section. Most companies today use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to automatically screen resumes. Your resume needs to be scannable. Try to focus on content of resume and try to avoid graphics-heavy resume formats. The idea is to convey as much information as you can in the clearest way possible.

Use Keywords

Use keywords from the job description and your profile which are most commonly used. Every industry has its own set of terms that describe their field. ATS are programmed to look for these resume keywords to rank your application and determine if you’re a good fit for the role. In order to make it past these initial reviews, it’s important to incorporate relevant keywords throughout your resume. Make sure to include them in your professional summary, your areas of expertise, and throughout your experience.

Stick to relevant information

Don’t include anything that may be considered irrelevant to the position. Focus on education, experience, skills, and achievements that are directly related to the job you’re trying to get. Irrelevant details will just add length to your resume and might reduce your chances of getting selected.

Use bullet points wisely

When you create bullet points, use them for the most relevant details. Always put the most important detail in the first bullet point of any section. Remember, the hiring manager is speed-reading the resume. That means that the first point may be the only one he or she reads.

Focus on achievements

Achievements on your resume help to quantify your value as an employee. They demonstrate qualifications and show that you’re ready to contribute to the company’s success. Be sure to include easy-to-understand achievements in your resume.

What’s Next?

  • If you pass the 6-second test, your cover letter will be the next thing employers look at. The cover letter provides an effective way to personalize your resume presentation. You can also use it describe your skills and job-related passion.
  • It’s not enough to have a killer resume. Employers also expect you to tell a consistent story about your work experience and job goals online. In fact, 93 percent of recruiters will review your online presence before they decide to interview you. But what exactly does ‘online presence’ mean? From your social media profiles, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to a personal website or portfolio, anything a recruiter can find if they search for you is part of your online presence. That’s why you need to make sure your online presence is consistent and supports your career goals.

If you can make it past that initial screening scan, your resume will then be reviewed in greater detail. Best of Luck!

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