Why is it so important that your resume be easy to skim? There are many reasons, and if you fail to address it when writing or updating your resume, it can mean that you may have lost opportunities with potential employers.
The resume serves as your marketing tool as a professional. If your marketing tool fails to properly inform hiring managers that you are a relevant candidate for the job and have the qualifications they are looking for, you’re not going to get a call back for an interview.
While many job seekers have the intention of making their resume relevant and easy to skim, we see many of them get lost in properly positioning the information on the resume. The truth is, some hiring managers spend as short as six seconds on each resume. If the important and relevant information doesn’t come through immediately, you’ve lost them, no matter how well-qualified and skilled you are.
Follow these tips to help make your resume easy to skim:
- Properly position the Executive Summary
After your name and contact information, the Executive Summary section is to follow. Immediately inform hiring managers what they would be hiring you for. Label your Executive Summary section with information that defines you as a professional. Use this section to focus on what makes you a stellar candidate for the job. What experience or knowledge do you bring to the table that demonstrates the potential for success on the job?
- Prioritize information
Each resume will vary and should always prioritize information that is important to the employer. It’s necessary to properly organize your information on the resume. Consider what the employer is looking for and the requirements of the job. You want to get to that information first on the resume. If having an MBA is a requirement of the job, it may take priority to present information on your education first or at least play mention to that in your Career Summary or in the details of your Work Experience.
- Check your headers and job titles
Headers and job titles on the resume serve similarly to headlines in a newspaper. It helps make it easy for hiring managers to skim your resume and to spot relevant information and to know where to proceed on your resume to find more relevant details.
- Layout your resume to make it easy on the eyes
Have you ever noticed that newspapers and magazines are often written with skinny columns of text and each paragraph runs short? This type of layout helps guide the reader’s eyes so that it doesn’t have to drift too far off the page, making it easier for the reader to navigate. Information is also kept to short paragraphs to allow for an easy skim of information. Content is kept bite-sized and easy to digest. A similar process is necessary on the resume. Use short paragraphs or bullet points in key sections like the Executive Summary and Work Experience. Incorporate white spaces to help break up information. Use bold typeface to bring attention to certain information or a section on the resume.
No matter how good and fitting your experiences and skills may be for the employer, it won’t matter unless you have a resume that makes it easy for the hiring manager to find and digest the information.
About Jobs offers resume writing and career consulting services. We work one-on-one with each client to customize information to build a personal brand and to create an attention-grabbing resume to put in front of today’s hiring managers. Our certified professional resume writers have decades of recruiting and job search experience to know how to bring successful results to your job search.