If you’re using your resume to get you a job, here’s a piece of advice – STOP!

The resume’s sole purpose in the job hunt is to allow you to be introduced to the employer and hope that one sheet of paper impresses that person enough to get you in the door for an interview.

Last week in class, my MGO 403 (Strategic Management) instructor informed the class that most HR professionals or head hunters spend on average six to eight seconds looking at a resume. If that is in fact the case, those six to eight seconds is the amount of time that you’ll have to impress the person looking at your resume. Although when I get a resume sent to my email, I like to spend more than seven seconds looking at it there a few things I’m looking for right away.

Here are some updated tips after I’ve worked just under 7 months looking at resumes every day:

1. Job loyalty. The first thing I look for on every resume is a long standing history of being able to keep a job for ~five years. I understand times are tough and job-hopping has become more of a norm than usual but the fact of the matter is employees want to see that you can grab a job and take hold of it. Your resume is in big trouble if it lists employment history without dates of employment. Resumes like that will never get a second look.

2. Format. I do not expect all resumes arriving to me to be in an identical layout; that would be near impossible to achieve with all the resumes floating around out there. What we are looking for however is a consistent formula you use to type up your resume. It is recommended that your career highlights be on the first page, and that you only have one page, but it is understandable if you have more than the one page.

3. Keep it simple. Graphics, colors, or other unnecessary items are not needed. But this step goes farther than just pictures or colors, it also includes unnecessary information. Make sure to keep the important information on the resume and try to wean out the unimportant. The person reading your resume doesn’t need to know that you’re a Yankees fan, in fact, an item like that will always hurt your chances rather than help you.

4. If possible including tangible results in your work history is always impressive. If you can write about how you improved efficiency in the work place or were the top sales employee, including numbers to boast your evidence can play a large part in your resumes ability to get you into that interview room.

When I see a resume with these four things I make sure to give it my full attention, more than the average of six to eight seconds.

If you believe after reading this that your resume needs some work, feel free to head on over to the Crossroads Consulting webpage where we offer a very prominent, LOW COST Resume Optimization service. If you feel your resume is in top shape and this article has just re-affirmed your position, head on over to our current openings and apply today!

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