The 3 Minute Guide to Writing a Better Resume

A well-written and designed resume can be your single most powerful tool in landing a great career. This document highlights your top skills, your career history, and the special education and training you have. It’s the preferred way that recruiters learn about candidates before meeting them in person, and it’s a requirement of nearly every hiring process.

Is your resume outdated, lacking appeal, or just not getting you the kind of response you would like? Don’t despair. Here are some simple tricks you can use to whip your resume into shape in less than 3 minutes.

Focus on the Above-the-Fold Information

Recruiters spend about 10 seconds reviewing each resume and most of that time is spend reviewing the top half of the front page. Make sure you are creating the right impression with this part of your resume. Is your name and contact information present? Do you have at least 6-10 skills mentioned that are relevant to the jobs you are applying for? Take the time to improve this area now.

Use More White Space

Most hiring managers prefer looking at resumes that have a nice design that includes plenty of white space in between text. This helps to direct the eyes to the right sections without overloading the senses. If you have too much crammed into the spaces in your resume, open it up and get more white space in there. Move margins and tabs to accomplish this. Make text succinct and reduce wordiness. Remember, less is more.

Change from Word to PDF

A simple change that takes literally seconds is to create a PDF version of your resume from a Word version. Why do this? Applicant tracking systems respond better to PDFs and your content cannot be altered by another person. It’s also less likely to be picked up by email spam filters, and you can add nice elements of design with a PDF that you cannot do with a Word file.

If you follow the above advice, your resume will perform better for you as you send it out to potential hiring companies.