We all have a resume.
And chances are that we're not huge fans of looking at, modifying, or working on it in any way, amirite?
If YOU hate looking at your resume, just imagine how a tired, overworked, desperately-in-need-of-help HR rep feels when swamped with hundreds of resumes for a single job posting.
I’m picturing something like this:
So how can you make life easier for that poor HR rep—and help your resume get to the top of the “interview” pile?
Make your resume easily S C A N N A B L E.
No, I’m not talking about using technology. I’m talking about using your own two eyeballs. What the heck do I mean by that? Here goes…
When people look at your resume, they should be able to see all the vital info at a glance…just by SCANNING—or glancing at—the page. They should immediately spot your name, contact info, and most relevant job experience in about two seconds.
If they have to squint for any of that info, they may just move on to the next resume.
You may not realize it, but you scan text all the time. Like when a friend posts an article on Facebook that you’re not totally sure you’re interested in reading. You may click the link and glance down the column at the text to see if anything pops out at you that makes actually reading the article worth your time and energy. If you don’t spot something that catches your eye almost immediately, you’ll likely close out of the screen. Sound familiar? We don’t have time to carefully read all the info that’s thrown at us on a daily basis, so we do a reading pre-check to save ourselves from a gigantic headache.
Here’s how to make your resume scannable:
1. Keep your contact info at the top of the page. And proofread it. 50 times. You’d be surprised how often that info is missing…or wrong.
2. Make sure you’re using a clean, easy-to-read font. No need to get all fancypants on us.
3. Never use anything less than 8-point font, and use that sparingly. You don’t want the HR rep to need glasses to find your college history.
4. Don’t be afraid of white space! That’s the area NOT covered by text. That white space gives us breathing room while we’re reading. It makes you look confident, unhurried, and secure in your work history.
5. Be consistent. If you put your first job title in bold, put ‘em all in bold! It helps us find vital info a lot faster.
6. Stick to black font on white paper. Unless you’re in a (very) creative field, anything else will look amateur.
7. Use bullets rather than paragraphs. They help organize your info.
It may take a little bit of time to reorganize your resume to make it scannable, but believe me—it will be worth the time and effort.
If you are still at Square One, or want other tips to get your resume off the ground, check out these popular posts:
And, of course, if you want my help in making your resume scannable, just write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE 15-minute consultation!
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