An employer may review 100 or more resumes in an hour, spending only 20-30 seconds on each one. Recognize that most employers are using the résumé to make a preliminary decision on whether to screen out or select an application. Follow these ways to make sure your resume gets into the ‘in’ pile.
Grab Attention: If you do not catch a recruiter’s eye, you are out. That does not mean you should use bright pink paper or multi-colored lettering, but you can include interesting details like photos or catchy headlines and interests that are relevant to the job. Many jobseekers have found that it is better to state their accomplishments rather than just their responsibilities: ‘Managed a budget of $200,000 annually for training and development’ is not nearly as powerful as ‘Reduced training and development costs by 20 percent while maintaining the quality and quantity of employee training’. Placing positive information at the very beginning and again at the very end of the résumé helps keep the employer’s attention and capitalizes on the psychological principles of memory to work in your favor.
Name Dropping: Another way to catch an employer’s eye is to include names of well-known companies you have worked for. If you previously worked for a reputable company, it enhances your application. “Because reputed companies have certain standards, employers are likely to assume you will be a well-trained, good employee. If you have not been employed by any large companies, consider doing an internship or volunteer work for a well-known organization.
Résumé Mistakes: While employers want résumés that are error-free, making a mistake such as addressing your cover letter to the wrong company will not necessarily disqualify you from the job. Of course, it depends on the employer. For some recruiters, that kind of mistake is inexcusable. However, many others will allow one or two mistakes, even stapling the second page upside down, as long as you have the right qualifications. To minimize mistakes, proofread your résumé. Your spell-checker program does not know you meant to write ‘manager’ instead of ‘manger’.