Most studies say a hiring manager makes up their mind about your resume in about 6-12 seconds. That’s it! The first thing a hiring manager or recruiter glances at is your contact information, followed by a brief glance at whatever else is at the top of the page. If they aren’t impressed, odds are that they won’t look at the rest of your resume.
It doesn’t matter how amazing the rest of your resume may be, if you don’t catch their attention right away. You need to give them a reason to keep on reading!
When it comes to resume writing, make sure that the top fold includes:
- Your contact information: full name, phone number and email address
- A strong summary statement that communicates your talents, skills and initiatives. You want the recruiter or hiring manager to get an immediate sense of what you are capable of doing. But make sure that it isn’t full of fluffy, generic statements.
- Skills/Accomplishments. Be sure to include job related and transferrable skills, as well as quantifiable accomplishments from your previous jobs. This is a great place to list specialized software skills for your industry, an award you won, or special teams/projects you are on that are related to your field.
- Education. This section should only be near the top if you are a recent grad. Otherwise drop it to the bottom of your resume and use the valuable real estate for something else.
And remember, just like writing the rest of your resume, it is important to always proofread. The resume should be 100% error free, so it’s a great idea to have a 3rd party look it over one last time before sending it with job applications.
For more tips on writing your resume, check out some of our posts here.