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Perfecting Your Resume

April 19, 2022

Tips for Perfecting Your Resume: From the Recruiter’s Point-of-View

By Aly Hayes

Let me let you in on a secret…

Recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds reviewing a resume before making the decision to dive in deeper, or move to the next one (Ladders, 2018).

Is your resume ready to make a good first impression in under 8 seconds?

If not, I’ve listed the Top 7 Tips to creating a resume worthy of a recruiter (and hiring manager’s) time.

1. Brief Overview or Professional Summary

Give the recruiter a quick glance into why you are interested in and qualified for a position, and why they should talk with you.

2. Title Headers and Marked Sections

Remember the 7.4 seconds I mentioned before? Make it as easy as possible to direct the recruiter to where they can find the necessary information at first glance. Here are the headers and sections you should absolutely have on your resume:

  • Overview/Summary
  • Skills
  • Certifications/Clearances
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Awards/Honors

3. Skills

This section is especially important for our IT professionals looking for new opportunities! This section allows you to be direct about what technologies and tools you have hands-on experience with; if you list it, you better be able to answer interview questions about it! You can list these in a bullet point format for easy reading, but you can also take it a step further and break it into relevant categories like this:

  • Languages: Java, Python, JavaScript
  • Frameworks: Spring, Angular, React CI/CD
  • Tools: Docker, Git, Jenkins
  • Databases: MongoDB, DynamoDB, PostgreSQL
  • Cloud: AWS Certifications: AWS cloud practitioner

4. Bullet Points

 Help to guide the recruiter’s eyes down the page and allow them to clearly read through your skills and experience

  • List relevant experience first
  • Focus on your contributions, not your teams
  • Use specific examples that demonstrate what you’ve accomplished, not just what you did

5. Relevant Keywords

86% of recruiting professionals say that using a recruitment software has helped them hire faster, and 78% of recruiters say that using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) has improved the quality of candidates they hire (GettApp, 2017).

When a recruiter searches their ATS, they input the most important aspects of the job they are trying to fill as part of their “search string”; these can include specific technologies, skills, locations, or certifications. Make sure you use keywords that are relevant to the job that you want.

6. Proofread, Proofread, and Proofread Again

Read through your resume line-by-line and check for things like,

  • Grammar
  • Phrasing
  • Spacing
  • Consistent font style/size throughout

After you’ve read through multiple times, ask a friend or family member to read through it, just in case you missed something!

7. Professional Contact Information

Be sure to have a phone number and personal email address where you can easily be contacted. In saying that, here is a note on email addresses…

Please, retire your middle school email address (hello, alyoop1210!) and upgrade to a professional one, like You want to come off as an intelligent, competent professional, so don’t let your silly email be the deal breaker.         

We’ll dive into some “don’ts” in a future blog, but for now, here are some are some bonus points on what not to do on your resume:

  • Be overly wordy
  • Have over three pages
  • Include a picture/headshot
  • List hobbies/interests/political affiliation

While there is an endless amount of advice and tips on how to craft the perfect resume, these are ones that will help you get seen by a recruiter. From there, your recruiter can then help tailor your resume even more before moving you through the hiring process with a client.

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