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4 Easy Ways to Grab a Recruiter's Attention With Your Resume

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


magnifying glass on a pile of resumes

Let's cut to the chase: you've got less time to make an impression on a recruiter than it takes to microwave a burrito. Seven seconds—seven measly seconds—is all you have.


In those scant moments, judgments are unleashed, conclusions are drawn, and your destiny—your shot at that elusive dream job—is either made or shattered. Fair? Not a chance.


But here's the stark reality: life isn't fair, and neither is the job market. So, what's left? You, my friend, are left with a choice—sink or swim. It's survival of the fittest in the professional jungle, and if you're not prepared, you're just another victim.


But there is a way out of this brutal battle for attention. Read on as I unveil the strategies to halt a hiring manager dead in their tracks. In those merciless 7 seconds, I'll show you how to scream, "I'm the one you want!" louder than your qualifications ever could. It's time you win the job you deserve.



Place the most important and relevant info at the top of your resume


When reviewing my client's resumes, one of the first things I immediately notice is that they delve straight into their work experience and education, and leave their skills and achievements to the last page at the bottom. This is pertinent information that should take first priority and be proudly displayed at the top!


List your core skills and competencies (relevant to the role of course), and include a professional summary that highlights and sells your career achievements.


Keep your bullet points concise and impactful


Another huge turnoff for recruiters and hiring managers is when they see lengthy blocks of text in your resume. This puts them off from wanting to even read through all that mass of information, as they have limited time, and the last thing they want to do is try to unpick all the relevant details from your life story.


To make it easier for them (and ATS) to scan through, lay out your work experience in short bullet points, aiming for no more than two lines per bullet point, and avoiding the temptation to cram multiple ideas into each one. Trim out irrelevant or repetitive wording and replace them with more impactful verbiage and active, descriptive words.


Incorporate keywords from the job description into your resume


Scan through the JD of the role you're applying for, and jump to the "Person Specification" or similar section. Every job ad will have this section, and this is one of your most important tools for developing your resume as it tells you what the employer is looking for in their dream candidate, and most importantly, what you need to include throughout your resume!


Study the person specification and highlight the skills and competencies that you know are a match with your experience and qualifications. Once you've identified those, incorporate those exact same keywords and phrases into your resume, particularly in the professional summary, skills, and work experience sections.


Triple-check your grammar


There's nothing worse than claiming you have excellent attention to detail, but you write "manger" instead of "manager", or "pubic" instead of "public" (now that's really embarrassing!).


Every time you make a new iteration to your resume, run it through Grammarly and then read it over, line by line, to be sure all sentences are coherent, make sense, and are befitting of your experience and work seniority level.


So even though your resume is scanned in less than the time it takes to wash your hands, you can still increase its chances of survival and actually being considered by the recruiter. Through allocating the most important information to the top of your resume, making your bullet points easy to scan through and conveying your experience with impact, making use of keywords, and ensuring your resume is error-free, you can make a one-of-a-kind first impression and secure that interview.


For best practices in formatting your resume, check out my recent Forbes article.

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Ready to Supercharge Your Career?


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