At the primary stage of the review process, recruiters and employers spend less than one minute looking at each resume according to the Economic Times. It seems unreasonable but with the average company receiving between 100-300 applications per corporate job, there’s harsh competition. That’s why, even just for that one-minute look that your resume gets, you’ve got to make it outstanding. Here are a few tips on how to build that killer resume and get hired straight out of university by making sure the reasons you’re the perfect candidate shines through at a glance.
Keep the content current, condensed and relevant
Keeping your resume up-to-date, concise and relevant doesn’t mean adding in new details; it means cutting it down. A resume of no more than two pages is reasonable, and to get yours down to that length, you have to be brutal when deciding what stays and what goes. If it’s irrelevant to the role you’re applying for, cut it. If the employment or experience you’re describing is outdated, cut it. If it’s taking you longer than one bullet point to outline a task, shorten it. It seems harsh, however, it will greatly enhance the readability of your resume, and also highlight more key-points and buzzwords that would otherwise get lost in a densely-written application.
Be brutal with your editing. The sparser yet more important information there is, the easier all your key skills can be registered by the recruiter in under one minute. Some obvious yet imperative tips to remember are that bullet points are your friends when it comes to condensing things down, emboldening buzzwords will make your resume readable at a glance, and use every word to sell yourself to the employer. As executive resume writer Louise Kursmark sums up nicely and succinctly, “keep it short and sweet.”
Make sure the design is clear and dynamic
Clarity is key when it comes to a killer resume. That means a layout which has room to breathe, is highly readable and has innovative yet simple graphic details to make it memorable. Clearly and professionally designed resumes increase chances of getting hired as employers are more likely to read through your skills and employment history if they are easy to read, and easy on the eye. Opt for a simple two-tone colour scheme, clearly labeled headings for different sections and minimal yet dynamic graphic design elements. This could be as straight-forward as using logos and symbols when listing your contact details and social media websites; although, you can get much more creative too. When listing your employment history, a simple timeline graphic running alongside will elevate a bland and dense list to a dynamic mapping of your work temporally.
Tailor your resume for each job
Tailoring your resume for each and every individual job is what can put you ahead of other candidates. Particularly if you’re applying straight out of university, this can give you that edge over some of the older and more experienced applicants. If you submit a catch-all resume which tries to satisfy similar jobs with different companies, employers will notice. Yes, a generalised resume may save time during the application process; however, job requirements differ, even if only slightly, between different employers. Target these individual job requirements in your resume. Treat each application as if it were the only one you were making. Take a few additional minutes to really read the job post and make sure your resume shows how you’re perfect for that specific job. It may be the extra little something that lands you that interview and eventually gets you hired.
Despite employers only taking a cursory glance at your resume, it’s still possible to grab their attention and get them to keep on reading. By having a heavily edited yet highly relevant resume that highlights your key skills at a glance, you’re bound to go further in the recruitment process. Leave a good impression with a killer layout through space and design elements, intrigue them with just how perfect you are for the job despite being a recent graduate by tailoring it to them specifically, and start preparing for that interview you’ll inevitably get.