We think a lot about creating our resume and wanting to make sure we think it is our best representation of us, but are we forgetting the most important perspective? That’s right, what about the people reading your resume? Author, Lily Zhang summarizes the top 5 things recruiters she interviewed look for when reading your resume. Below are two examples:
1. If your relevant experience, education, or skills are hard to find at a glance, your resume might as well be blank.
It’s understandable to want to make your resume stand out a bit from the typical resume, but getting creative in InDesign isn’t the way to do it. As the head of Google’s HR states, “Unless you’re applying for a job such as a designer or artist, your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible.”
In other words, no funky formats. You’re far better off spending your time trying to maximize the top half of your resume. This could mean writing a resume summarywith your most relevant qualifications or maybe pulling all your most relevant experiences into a separate section at the top of your resume and relegating the rest into an “Additional Experiences” section. As long as you’re trying to maximize traditional resume formatting rather than do something entirely different, you should be safe.
2. If it’s not immediately clear from your experience why you’re applying, no one will connect the dots for you.
Whether you’re a career changer or just applying for a reach position, if a recruiter’s initial reaction to your resume is confusion, you’re not going to get very far.
So, make sure you connect the dots for the reader. It’s likely that you have an idea of how your skills can be transferred or why you’re more skilled than your years of experience might let on. But, unless you spell it out on your resume, the recruiter probably won’t be able to put the pieces together—and you’ll never have the chance to explain in person.
One way to solve it? Using a simple objective statement. While you should definitely not use an objective statement if you’re applying for a position that makes perfect sense—or if it’s a clichéd “I’d like to use my skills at an innovative, fast-growing organization”—if your background is a little unusual for the job you’re targeting, a brief explanation might just be what gets you to the interview.