How many resumes do you think a Human Resources department sorts through each day? In some companies, this number reaches well into the hundreds. Receiving resumes in such large volumes means that potential employers are not going to read your resume in detail. In fact, when it comes to sorting potential resumes, potential employers spend as little as 10 – 20 seconds reviewing each resume.
What does this mean to you as a job seeker? It means that you have approximately 10 seconds to catch a potential employer’s attention. Here are a few ideas you can use to help generate interest in your resume during those critical few seconds.
Include a summary of your qualifications
Begin your resume with a quick summary of your qualifications. It should contain a few short bullets that highlight information such as your top talents and top skills, areas of expertise, experience, certifications, and so on. Remember as well that you should customize this section depending on the position. Only list the key points that are relevant to the potential employer and the position.
Use keywords throughout your resume
Larger companies sometimes use keywords to sort and file resumes into databases. When an H.R. department is looking for potential candidates, they can query a database of resumes using keywords. Along with using keywords throughout your resume, also consider adding a list of keywords to the end. The list might contain additional skills or alternate job titles.
Highlight your technical skills
When applying for an IT job, your technical skills are of high interest to potential employers. To make your technical skills stand out in your resume, include a section dedicated to highlighting them. If you have a lengthy list, break your skills down into categories such as hardware, desktops, operating systems, applications and so on.
By including key pieces of information and highlighting the information that is relevant to the position you are applying for, you are more likely to catch the eye of a potential employer during those few critical seconds.