It is clear that one of the most important documents in your job search is your resume. Since we know of its importance why do most job seekers treat it as if it doesn’t warrant priority status? There are many templates on line that will help you with the layout and design of your resume. The challenge is layout and design is not what’s important when your resume is being reviewed by prospective employers. If job seekers knew what was important on their resume they would do a better job in the development. I will share with you the process company’s use when they review resumes.
If you submit a resume to a prospective employer it will most likely go through an electronic scanning process. This process determines which resumes are a good fit for what the employer is looking for. Only these resumes will be reviewed by personnel and the others will go into their database. Your resume must have keywords, relevant skills, experience and an impactful value added statement clearly displayed. Our twenty five years of interviewing experience and the reviewing of literally thousands of resumes allows us to offer you these tips for your use. When developing your resume be mindful that if you are fortunate and your resume is selected it will be looked at for no longer than 30 seconds.
Our experience reveals that resumes are reviewed in quadrants. We know that when the eyes look at the document 25% of the time is focused on Q1, 50% on Q2, 10% on Q3 and 15% on Q4. Having this knowledge should tell you where the most emphasis should be placed when developing your resume. Seventy five percent of the reviewer’s time is spent looking at content in Q1 and Q2. The first quadrant (Q1) typically has your contact information and value added statement. It is this value added statement that addresses what you can offer to the prospective employer. Keep in mind that it is critical that your resume speaks directly to the job you are applying for. The second quadrant (Q2) contains your relevant job experience and the skills you offer that match what the employer is seeking in an employee. Recruiters and Employers spend the most time in this quadrant which means you should spend the most time making sure Q2 is really impactful. Quad 4 typically has school and reference information and only serves to verify whether or not you have a degree. Quad 3 is viewed the least amount of time because it typically has work experience from earlier in your career.
I hope that knowing how resumes are read by recruiters and employers help you in developing a document that is both impactful and well constructed.