On average, an advertised corporate job opening attracts about 250 applications from potential candidates. The number is significantly higher for job openings with bigger employers and sought-after positions. These numbers may be overwhelming but we use them here to demonstrate just how competitive the job market is.
Typically, organizations will only shortlist 4-6 applicants for interviews. The number may be slightly higher for organizations with more resources at their disposal but it’s still a fairly small percentage of the total applicants.
So how do organizations decide which candidates to shortlist and which to filter from the race?
It all comes down to your resume and how much it impresses the hiring team. As soon as a job is posted, resumes start pouring in and they have to quickly sift through the influx to decide which ones to keep and which ones to discard.
It is estimated that a recruiter looks at a resume for about 6-7 seconds before deciding if they want to go through the document in its entirety. The resume has to stand out and make an excellent impression during this time for a candidate to stand any real chance of being shortlisted for an interview.
This is why your resume should be attractive, and one that immediately piques the recruiter’s interest. If you’re looking for ways to up your performance in 2023 and land a great job, consider hiring a professional resume writing service and make sure your resume follows these guidelines so that it’s more attractive.
Use Modern and Minimalistic Aesthetics
Does your resume have a traditional format with items listed in chronological order and divided into bullet points? This resume format won’t help you stand out in 2023; in fact, your resume may be ignored if it still follows a run-of-the-mill, outdated format.
A recruitment manager will quickly discard any resume that doesn’t grab their attention and breaks through the clutter. A quick scan and your resume will be chucked in the pile of discards. The best way to avoid this is by giving your resume a fresh and modern look.
A modern design will not only catch the reader’s eye but they’ll also have “hooks” that will get them engaged. A modern template is one which immediately introduces the reader to all that you have to offer. It introduces and showcases your abilities in a way that the reader feels compelled to go through the entire document.
The first half of the resume presents your core competencies and your major areas of expertise. The bottom half has all the specifics of your career and all your achievements. Such templates typically don’t have bullet points of job description. Instead, every point will elaborate on how you polished your skillset during the job and achieved your goals.
The ultimate goal of this resume format is to quickly deliver the specifics of your career and personality to the reader so they know exactly what you bring to the table and what you’re capable of delivering.
Divide the Resume into Clear Sections
If your resume looks like one big block of text, it may intimidate the recruiter and make it more difficult for them to go through it. It’ll also make it difficult for them to find the exact information they’re looking for, which means your resume will likely be passed on.
This is why it’s always best to divide the resume into relevant sections so that each section has a clear heading. This will make it much easier for the recruiter to scan the resume and find the exact information they’re looking for.
If there’s anything specific that you want to highlight in your resume, you can even put it in a separate box so that it draws the recruiter’s attention. Your resume is like a cheat sheet for the hiring team to get quick insights into your specific strengths and what better way to do it than to highlight your biggest strengths?
Place White Space Strategically
It may be tempting to add every piece of information about yourself to your resume thinking that it’ll give the recruiter a more holistic picture of your abilities. In reality, a jam-packed resume will likely be ignored because it can be very difficult to read. This is why it’s important to add white space strategically to your resume to make it more legible.
White space will also keep your resume from appearing like a block of words and split up information effectively. This will add breathing room to your resume and help your details flow seamlessly.
Sections and boxes can add white space to your resume. You can also make your copy as concise and precise by writing crisp lines that convey the right message. The fewer words you use, the easier it’ll be to draw the reader’s attention and keep them hooked. It will also help you highlight only the things that matter the most and lose all the irrelevant details.
Consider Adding a Pop of Color
A pop of color can do wonders in helping you stand out from other resumes. Of course, colors should always be added with caution because the last thing you want is for your resume to look like a haphazard rainbow.
Colors placed strategically and added only where needed can put emphasis on important information in your resume. It can also break up the clutter of black font on your resume and make it stand out.
The best way to go about it is to use dark, deep shades of saturated color so that every word on your resume is legible on paper as well as on screen. Bright, unsaturated colors may put off the reader and have the opposite effect so you should always be mindful of the colors you choose for this purpose.
Focus on Formatting and Font
When it comes to resumes, formatting and font can make a world of difference in how the reader perceives your resume. You should steer clear of cutesy or animated font that may be difficult to read or may appear unprofessional. You should also avoid fonts that are too light or unnecessarily bold because they will also impact the legibility of your resume.
Ideally, you can use both Sans Serif and Serif fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman, or Georgia. You should also use an appropriate font size for the text which is usually 10-12 for text and 12-14 for headings and subheading.
Additionally, use the bold, italics, and underline features carefully as using them excessively may dilute its effect. Use it only to draw attention to the achievements and skills that really matter, such as your experience, or the organizations you’ve worked for.
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Resu Consulting is your best choice for quality online resume writing services. We’ll collaborate with you and develop a unique and effective resume that will grab the recruiters’ attention and set you apart from others.
We are an executive resume writing service based in Manassas, VA with experts who write winning resumes that stand out with hiring managers. We also provide career coaching, resume template design, cover letter writing services and more to our valued clients.
Get in touch with our seasoned professionals today to schedule your free consultation!