You have only a few seconds to make a strong first impression. That stands true in one-on-one interactions as well as virtual ones. Just take your resume as an example and put yourself in the shoes of a potential recruiter. Would you waste your time on a CV that looks messy and unprofessional?
But, here’s a better question: while some mistakes are rather obvious and easy to avoid, how can you tell what constitutes a quality resume to a potential employer? In other words, what are the elements that can make or break the first impression your resume is making?
Let’s find out!
How to Make a Lasting Impression with Your Resume
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when writing your resume if you want to stand out among other candidates.
- Have a Strong Opening
A recruiter doesn’t need more than seven seconds to determine if you are the right fit for the job. If your opening is weak, dull or dragging for too long, then they might decide that your resume is not worth their time.
Make sure that the first few phrases are catchy and descriptive. Use them to summarize your career progression and experience.
- Keep Your Content Relevant
Here’s the thing: the recruiter isn’t interested in that semester you studied abroad or the grade you scored at one of the most difficult exams in college. They also don’t want to know about your passions and hobbies. What they want to find out as quickly as possible is if you can bring value to the company.
Make sure that the content is professional, short and relevant to the job. It is in your best interest to keep the employer engaged. Explain and give additional details only when needed, and avoid sharing personal stories.
For a better idea of what to write and how a proper resume should look like, these resume samples will help.
- Quantify Your Accomplishments
Hiring managers want to see facts and numbers. Sure, they will find your description of how you managed to help a company grow its bottom line interesting, but they also want to know the details of this statement. How much profit did you bring to the company, how many products you sold per month, how many people did you train?
By quantifying your accomplishments, you give employers an idea of how you may be of use to the company.
How to Avoid Making a Bad First Impression
Knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to include in your resume. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind.
- Be Sure To Proofread
Having typos on your resume is sure to catch the manager’s eye, but not in a good way. Not only that errors make you look unprofessional, but the recruiter will assume that you weren’t interested enough in the job to take the time to proofread your CV.
So, check and double check your spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Ask your grammar-Nazi friend to take a look at your CV as well before sending it.
- Keep It Real
According to one survey, 2000 hiring managers said that the typical mistake people make when writing their resumes is lying about their achievements, experience or education.
Try emphasizing what you can offer rather than what you lack. Focus on your power points, and the employer will see what you have to bring to the table.
- Give All Your Contact Information
It may seem obvious, but you will be surprised to learn how many people neglect to include their complete contact information on their resume. Add everything from your phone number, email address to your LinkedIn page and blog if you have one. You could even add a QR code to make it easier for the recruiter to examine your online presence.
Your resume is your business card. If it doesn’t catch the attention of recruiters, your chance of scoring an interview decreases significantly. Keep these tips in mind if you want to make a strong first impression.