Your Resume Only Gets 6 Seconds: How to Land an Interview

Oct 20, 2015

Ten Tips on Using Your Resume to Land a Job Interview

Did you know that it only takes a potential employer six seconds to look over your resume before they make a decision about you? Your resume must be flawless if you want to land an interview. Here are some great tips that will help your resume make it through the screening process to help you land your next job interview.

1. Philosophical Values

When writing resumes, you are promoting yourself as a brand. To mold your information to what your potential employer is looking for, study the company site and look for repeated words, taglines, and phrases to get some hints about their philosophy. Let your resume reflect some of their language and values. By doing this, you will create a highly customized resume that increases your chances to land an interview.

2. Don’t Be a No-Name

This sounds very simple – and it is, but there is a certain format you need to follow. Put your name in regular caps or bold face. Include your address, email, and phone numbers, but don’t bold this information.

3. Objectively Speaking

Having an objective on your resume is a great way to showcase your top skills and values or to state exactly what you are looking for in a job. The secret is to include a specific objective that will resonate with your potential new employer. Make it match your life and your career goals.

4. Short and Sweet

The length of your resume might be what determines your ability to land a job interview. You might have several years of experience that you are proud of, but all the information may not be relevant. Try to keep your resume to one page. Remember, you only get six seconds. Nobody can read a four-page resume that fast.

5. Follow the Format

If you do not have the resources to hire a professional resume writer, use a template from a program such as Microsoft Word. Use them as your guide, but tweak them as necessary to suit your needs and your own style. Do not use borders, pictures, or colors. Black text on white paper is the way to go.

6. White Space, Not White Noise

Use plenty of white space to draw the reader’s eye to specific items. Just as your name should stand out in big, bold letters, white space should guide the reader’s eye toward the important points. Don’t include too many details. Balance your resume with italics, bullet points, and bold font. Include your achievements and accomplishments in short bulleted lists.

7. Let’s Get Social

In some cases, human eyes may not see your resume at first. Some firms use online recruitment tools to sift through different resumes. Social media can help overcome this obstacle. LinkedIn has a skills section you can search for keywords that might be found in a firm’s search query database. Click on the “more” tab in your LinkedIn profile then enter type of skill or description in the available search box. This results in a list of related skills popping up. Use the skills as the keywords on your resume to help you land an interview.

8. Stick to the Point

Only include your work history that is relevant to the job for which you are applying. Including all your previous jobs – especially the ones not related to the job you are hoping to land – reduces your chances to land an interview. Your resume should be a succinct summary that showcases your most relevant skills regardless of the position.

9. “30-love”

If at all possible, describe your accomplishments using numbers. For example, how many people did you manage? What was the project budget amount you managed? If you were responsible for developing a marketing campaign, show how you met the company goals. Your resume goal isn’t to even up the score. You’re goal is to squash the competition.

10. References

It is important that you have several references to share once your resume lands you that interview, but don’t put them at the end of your resume. You can provide a separate document with names and numbers after you land an interview with your dream employer. Make sure you have contacted and informed each of your references. You’ll want them to be prepared should they receive a call on your behalf.

The Next Game

So, how to land an interview and get your dream job? Simply apply these tips! If you get an interview based solely on your resume, then you know you’re doing something right. The next step is to ace that job interview. It’s not always about the skills. It’s about the whole you, the right fit, a perfect relationship. Relax, your resume worries are over!

About the Author

Charlie Kimmel

As President and CEO, Charlie has dedicated his 25+ year career to executive search at Kimmel & Associates. Charlie began his career at Kimmel & Associates in 1990 as a Recruiter. In 1993, he graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he received a BA in History.

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