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When looking for a new and exciting job, the first thing everyone does is upgrading their resume.

It’s the first link that connects a recruiter with job applicants.

You spend hours to come up with the right professional phrases and keywords, listing all business events you joined in the last two years, describing numerous tasks you were in charge of with during your former job.

All the ideas are right there at the tip of your tongue, but there’s a pressure to find the most efficient way for a recruiter to see all your strong points.

How recruiters review your resume

The fact is that almost nobody knows what the recruiter does with your resume. Are they really reading all ten pages about your career? How much time do they spend on one CV? What’s the first thing they look at?

This is why it is time to step out of the darkness and observe the path your CV will take after you push the “send” button.

Creating the perfect resume is not hard, you just have to take into account the following steps. After you know exactly what is going on between a recruiter and your CV, you will understand what really is important about your resume.

1.     Layout

Now, the layout may not be a crucial element that will make the difference between an interview and a pass. However, it may have a strong impact on a recruiter on an unconscious level.

The fact is that if the role is for an ambitious project, there will be thousands of resumes. A recruiter has enough expertise to just briefly read the resume and make the final decision in six seconds.

However, if the layout makes it harder for the recruiter to find the key points of your career, then it might trigger frustration. In this state of mind, the next weak point in your resume might receive a harsh penalty.

So, the resume that will get the maximum capacity of concentration from the recruiter is the one with a clear and clean layout.

This doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and use bold texts as much as possible. Just a clear demarcation for each of the main categories will suffice.

Pro-tip: as a way to test your resume, here’s what you can do, You should back away from the computer until you won’t be able to read the words (I’m sorry if your eyesight is something to be envied). Is the layout easy to chunk down into small pieces? If so, you’ve done a wonderful job. Any kind of layout helpers will do the trick. It is even recommended to list your skills and abilities with bullet points for an easier reading.

2. The first thing taken under consideration

Most people are wondering what the first part of the resume is that the recruiters study.  Is it education? How many years did they spend on one job or another? Or is the large list of projects the winner?

The answer is actually your current position.

This section will decide if there’s a viable link between you and the desired position. The chances are that many resumes have all the required qualifications.

However, is it enough to stop here and not analyze this through?

Let’s say that the position needs quick thinking and a precise set of technical skills. If the candidates performed these qualifications 20 years ago, then they might not be actually eligible for the job.

A manager might expect the new employer to perform the tasks with a clockwork precision. Failing at this will be bad for the company and the new employer likewise.

So, the first thing the recruiters do is to look at the current or at least the most recent position.

If this section is highly related to the new opening, then the candidate receives good scores, and the recruiters move on to the next step.

3. Chronology

It is easy to notice if the line of your career had an evolutionary road or if it followed an irregular trajectory with ups and downs.

Recruiters want to understand better your decisions behind the career choices. They want to see the logical methods used to climb the career ladder.

If a candidate worked for seven years as a Project Manager in a five-people company, and the next job was that of a Marketing Assistant, then the odds won’t smile too indulgently upon that candidate.

It is easy to understand that the first position wasn’t as strong as the high title suggests. The candidate didn’t acquire all the necessary skills that the recruiting market requires from a Project Manager within a multinational company.

Also, they pay particular attention for the eventual gaps in the candidate’s professional history.

However, this doesn’t mean that if you had gaps, you wouldn’t be eligible for the position.

But any business needs to know what determined your decision to take some time off. It is completely understandable if you concentrated a couple of years to raise your children, or if you took the matters into your own hands and tried to build a startup.

If the reasons behind these gaps are ambitious, family-orientated, or they were triggered by external factors, the recruiter wants to know them.

If the resume doesn’t cover a certain period of time, recruiters will take notice of the gap and for lack of explanations, they will draw negative conclusions.

4. “CTRL + F”

With the rise of digital resumes, a recruiter’s job has become way easier, and maybe this is the reason why they need six seconds to read a resume.

The recruiters can now hit the Ctrl + F keys and search for keywords in a resume.

The reason behind this is not to test the SEO skills of the candidates though the position is from the programming field.

However, if you have gained enough experience in a domain, you will be familiar with certain key notions. Thus, the vocabulary that you use within the resume will reflect the years of expertise.

A proper resume for this programming job, for instance, cannot avoid certain professional terms like programming languages, such as Javascript, C++ or Ruby.

However, resumes that contain random keywords just to score some extra SEO points will more likely not receive any green light for the next phase.

Again, recruiters want to know more about the expertise of the candidates in a subcategory which has its own special appellative in the targeted field.

5. Common sense

The lack of some unwritten rules of common sense can be easily noticed during the recruiter’s six-second analysis.

First off, the grammar mistakes have to be avoided.

Whichever position it may be, internal or external communication is a common requirement for any job. Everybody has to talk to colleagues, superiors, and clients.

Even programmers that look safe from the customer care responsibilities will have to clarify a technical issue or a code line someday. So, quality grammar is crucial in a professional resume for any kind of vacancies.

Long phrases will most likely disrupt the recruiter’s focus capacity. Moreover, they will create chaos in expression, and the meaning might get lost, creating a confusion.

Resumes with short and concise sentences have higher chances of getting the candidates an interview.

Also, the style of your resume is important for HR teams.

A cold, distant tone of a CV might not catch enough attention during the recruiter’s six-second attention span. Instead, a resume that delivers your powerful and unique personality will be an enjoyable reading for anyone.

All in all, this is how the recruiters analyze a resume at first glance. The number of job applications recruiters receive is enormous, so it is crucial for recruiters to read a resume in a matter of seconds.

Now that you know what they are looking for, you can avoid your resume being shredded and be invited to a job interview instead.

What do you think? How do you prepare your resume? Have you considered these tips while preparing your CV? Let me know in the comment section below.


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