Will Your Résumé Make the 30-Second Cut? 5 Tips Show You How

on 10:49 PM


The average time an employer spends reviewing a résumé the first time around is only 30 seconds. While this isn’t much time to reveal your experience, skills, and accomplishments, it is enough time to see if your résumé contains one necessary ingredient. Focus.

Without focus the chances of your résumé making the final cut for a thorough reading are very slim. One of the most common mistakes about résumés is people equating them to a work history when the word, résumé, itself is from a French word meaning “to summarize”.

Here are 5 strategies to help you make the 30-second cut and beyond.
Tip #1 – Don’t leave the employer guessing. In a highly competitive job market, the typical, nationally advertised job receives hundreds of responses. Employers simply don’t have time to decipher vague résumés. To keep from falling into this category, clearly identify your career objective at the top of your résumé (just below your name and contact information). It can be as simple as listing the job title you’re applying for or including your career objective in a professional profile.
Tip # 2 – Think of your résumé as an 8x10 business card. By its sheer size, a business card requires focus and has no room for irrelevant information. Your résumé should be no exception. It should contain bulleted information, designed in a legible manner, and contain plenty of white space for easy reading.
Tip # 3 – Your résumé must deliver what your objective promises. After you’ve made the first cut, the employer then reads your résumé more thoroughly. This is where the body of your résumé must highlight the work history, experience, skills, and accomplishments that best support your career objective.
Tip # 4 – Don’t limit yourself to only one résumé. We all have a variety of experiences, interests, and skills. The idea is to have a separate focus for each résumé to maintain effectiveness. A recent client of mine was equally qualified as a sales executive as well as a pastry chef. By designing two résumés for her, she has now become twice as marketable.
Tip # 5 – Test your résumé on a family member or friend. Once you feel you’ve created a highly focused résumé, give it a test run before mailing it out to employers. Give someone 30 seconds to figure out your career objective. If they can, chances are your résumé will avoid the circular file.

By: Melissa M. Whitney

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