Let me start by saying that recruiters won’t go digging to find the great information on your resume. They expect to see it right away and so you have to find a way to make recruiters want to actually read it. Research says your resume has less than 20 seconds to make an impression on the recruiter. So since the recruiters are not going to spend a lot of time digging for information and you want them to keep reading, pay attention to this resume writing tip – Make sure the top one third of your resume is really strong.
To do that what are the items you should make sure are right at or near the top of your resume.
Recruiters and hiring managers have to be able to find you. It happens more often than you think that the contact information on a resume is out of date. Make sure to keep this section updated, especially, right after graduation when your campus address may be no longer be useful. Make sure the emails and social media names that are in your contact information remains professional. If you are interested in relocation, make sure this statement is visible beside your address or leave out your address completely.
Powerful Summary of Qualifications, Career Highlights or Professional Profile
It really doesn’t matter much if you call this introductory section of your resume an “Objective” or a “Summary of Qualifications” or “Career Highlights” or “Professional Profile”. They all have a similar purpose – a summary statement that markets you. The total you. By the way, there this still some debate about this resume writing tip. You will see some people who say that Resume Objectives are out of date for emerging professionals. I don’t agree. My recommendation is to use one because it sets the tone for the rest of your resume information.
If you are a new college graduate or emerging professional or you have new and relevant training, this must show up early in your resume. Don’t put it at the end of your resume. The recruiter and hiring manager may not actually get there if they don’t see a whole lot of relevant content before that.
The top 30% of your resume is really just nothing if you do not highlight accomplishments. Accomplishments are about what you have done – eg. 4 years of customer service experience, 15% growth in campus group membership, managed budget in excess of $X amount. Get the point? Accomplishments mean something to a recruiter or hiring manager. Don’t overlook this resume writing tip, if you really want some attention.
No Errors. Can’t Stress This Enough
This resume writing tip is probably the one we see the most. It is everywhere. Despite that, we are humans who still make resume writing errors. To improve your chances of not having any errors, get someone to proof read your resume for you before you send it anywhere.
I write a lot about our mission at The HBCU Career Center to end resume fails. In fact one of the hashtags we use all the time is #EndResumeFails. We want to make sure job seekers don’t get discarded because of things that can easily be addressed.
Connect on our Instagram and find more resume writing tips with the #EndResumeFail hashtag.