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The First Six Seconds of Your Resume Can Make or Break Your Career

Whether you an inexperienced college graduate hoping to find your dream job or an experienced individual looking for a career change, your resume is undoubtedly the most important part of your application that gives future employees an insight into your personality and accomplishments. However, studies show that no matter how long or impressive your resume may be, if the first six seconds of it aren’t worth reading, your chances of getting that new job are next to none.

The Six-Second Rule

According to a recent research, a recruiter can decide within the first six seconds if an applicant is the right fit for the job

Applying for a job can require extensive resumes, cover letters, and lengthy interviews – but according to a recent research, recruiter can decide within six seconds if a resume is worth their time. Only a while ago, researchers claimed that the interviewers and recruiters spent a maximum time of 30 seconds on a resume before making up their mind about the applicant – the time has now declined steeply in a matter of few years.

This isn’t good news for hopeful job applicants whose chances rely solely on their resume. But with increasing competition and highly saturated markets, we cannot blame the employers for becoming very selective with the applications. If you’re waiting by the phone, wondering why the managers aren’t calling you back, it’s time to re-evaluate your resume and make sure that it catches the reader’s attention in the first few lines.

Create a Snapshot of Important Qualifications and Skills in the First Section of the Resume

Make a great first impression with the first section of your resume

You have only six seconds to impress your future employer which leaves no room for ‘fluff’ or unnecessary details in your resume – especially not in the first few lines of it. Before sitting down to write your resume, make a list of the most important selling points that you want the reader to know and place them strategically in the document, so that if the recruiter wants to quickly skim through the resume, he can catch a glimpse of everything that’s worth knowing.

The top third of your resume will give the employer the crucial first impression that will determine your application’s future. In this section, give a quick overview of your goals, qualifications, skills and contact details so that your potential employer can reach out to you if your resume passes the 6 second test.

Your Resume Must Work on More Than One Platform

Today, there are a million different ways to apply for jobs and view electronic documents hence, it’s important that your resume is compatible with multiple devices and platforms. Whether you’re connecting with an employer on LinkedIn, sending the document through email or handing in a hard copy at an interview, your goal is to make the resume as accessible and readable as possible.

With the social media trend on the rise, resumes aren’t the only way for recruiters to get an insight on applicants. A well-maintained LinkedIn profile with updated information, work experience and profile summary, can sometimes work better than a tradition resume. Career communication platforms also offer innovative visual features that can help candidates gain a competitive edge over the rest. The use of traditional two-paged resumes is slowly fading away as a trend for shorter, more personalized documents concise branding statements is on the rise.

Put More Emphasis on Your Current Position

Make an effort to stand out from the competition in order to get that dream job

The recruiters don’t want a timeline of every single event of your life, they want to know your current situation. Even if you do put down all of your achievements on the documents, the chances of the reader going through all of them are very slim – in fact, putting too much on your resume may hurt your application and take away the spotlight from the accomplishments that do matter. In other words, less is more.

Another important factor that can help your application is tailoring the resume to match the requirements of the job. Sending in a generic resume will only kill your chances of getting a job and you’ll probably never hear back from the recruiter again. In today’s competitive market, any efforts you’ll make to stand out from the competition will help your chances of landing the dream job.

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