Recruiters receive many more applications for their advertised jobs than they can possibly read in detail. That is why their initial scan of most resumes lasts only a few seconds before they decide to flag it for consideration or toss it to the side.
Those few seconds can be crucial to your career success. A new study by the team at Business2Community has crunched the numbers on resumes that lead to interviews.
They found that when elements such as years of experience, location, industry, and career type, are factored in a “quality” resume leads to a job interview an average of 9.9 per cent of the time.
By contrast, a less effective resume achieves an interview for the applicant only 3.1 per cent of the time. These results show that statistically, a candidate with a strong resume is 316 per cent more likely to be interviewed for their job application.
Interestingly, after that, it is your interpersonal skills that matter most. After these candidates had reached the first round of interviews for the job, the quality of their resume ceased to matter. B2C found that there was no significant difference between the rate of receiving the job offer among the candidates with the more effective or less effective resumes.
The interview levels out the playing field, but you’re over 300 per cent more likely to reach that stage with a quality resume. So, what makes for a quality resume?
Crafting an effective resume
In-depth research into the success levels of job applications has found that the resumes that deliver the best results have several key common traits. Those include:
– Simple layouts with clearly marked section and title headers, all written in a clear font.
– Layouts that took advantage of F-pattern and E-pattern reading tendencies, with bold job titles supported by bulleted lists of accomplishments.
– A detailed overview or mission statement, primarily located at the top of the first page of the resume.
Analysis found that the worst-performing resumes also shared important similarities. You should avoid these:
– Cluttered layouts characterized by long sentences, multiple columns, and a lack of white space.
– Large blocks of dense text that did not draw the reader’s eye down the page, lacking section or job headers or bullet points.
– A reliance on keyword stuffing. You know your resume needs the relevant keywords that employers are looking for, but jamming too many in without context is just taking up valuable space and harming your readability.
Have a clean, readable layout with clearly marked sections and work history. When employers are quickly scanning your resume to see if you are a relevant applicant for further scrutiny, they want to see a few key pieces of information first, without having to hunt for them.
The first and foremost of these include your name, your current job title and employer, the start and end dates of your current job, and your education.
To take the quality of your resume to the next level, consider replacing job descriptions for your previous roles with your on-the-job accomplishments.
Substitute your ‘Career Objective’ with an essential career summary that highlights your key selling-point for the job.
And of course, proofread. Make sure you are submitting a document that is polished, flows, and is error-free. Here is how to proofread like a professional editor.
Read the full analysis from Business2Community.