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Your Résumé: 7 Seconds to Create an Impression

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Crafting an Impressive Job Application: Understanding the 7-Second Rule

Your résumé is a powerful tool that can open doors to new career opportunities. However, with the average hiring manager spending just 7 seconds scanning a résumé, it's crucial to make a positive impression in that brief window of time.

CV Checklist

Here are ten essential tips to help you create an impressive résumé that captivates employers and increases your chances of landing an interview.

  1. Begin with a Professional Layout A well-organised and visually appealing résumé layout is crucial in creating a positive impression. Use clear headings, bullet points, and consistent formatting to make it easy for the reader to quickly navigate through your résumé. Choose a font that is easy to read and maintain appropriate spacing between sections for a clean and professional look. Never use more than 2 font types: one for the body and one for headings (bold if you prefer). Footnotes or citations should be a smaller font size, indent and italicise if you wish.

  2. Customise for Each Job Application One size does not fit all! Avoid using a generic résumé for all job applications. Instead, tailor your résumé to match the requirements of each specific job you're applying for. Research the company and the role, and use the information to customise your résumé accordingly. This shows that you have taken the effort to understand the employer's needs and are genuinely interested in the position.

  3. Highlight Your Relevant Skills Focus on showcasing the skills that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. Use keywords and phrases from the job description to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the role. Be specific and provide examples of how you have used your skills in previous roles to make your résumé stand out.

  4. Showcase Your Accomplishments Instead of simply listing your job duties, highlight your achievements. Use quantifiable results to showcase how you made a positive impact in your previous roles. For example, mention how you achieved targets, completed projects, received awards, or increased revenue or efficiency. This demonstrates your ability to deliver tangible results and adds credibility to your résumé.

  5. Keep It Concise With limited time for review, it's important to keep your résumé concise. Avoid lengthy paragraphs or unnecessary details. Instead, use bullet points to highlight your key achievements, responsibilities, and qualifications. Be strategic in choosing what information to include and what to leave out to ensure that your résumé is easy to skim through quickly.

  6. Use Action Words Choose strong action words or power verbs to describe your accomplishments and responsibilities. Words like "achieved," "implemented," "led," "managed," and "increased" convey a sense of proactivity and accomplishment. Avoid using passive language and be specific about your contributions to previous employers.

  7. Proof read for Errors Typos, grammatical errors, or formatting mistakes can undermine the credibility of your résumé. Carefully proofread your resume to ensure it is error-free. Double-check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors. Consider asking a friend or mentor to review it as well, as they may spot mistakes that you might have missed.

  8. Include Relevant Keywords Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan résumés for specific keywords. To increase the chances of your résumé passing through ATS and reaching the hands of a hiring manager, include relevant keywords related to the job and industry you're applying for. This can help your résumé get noticed and increase your chances of getting shortlisted for an interview.

  9. Demonstrate Your Cultural Fit Employers are not only looking for candidates with the right skills and qualifications, but also those who will fit well with their organisational culture. Showcase your values, interests, and any relevant extracurricular activities or volunteer work that aligns with the company's culture. This can help you stand out as a well-rounded candidate who will be a good fit for the team.

  10. Include Contact Information and a Professional Email Address Make sure to provide up-to-date contact information on your résumé, including your name, phone number, email address, and professional social media profiles if relevant. It's essential to have a professional email address that reflects your name or initials rather than an unprofessional or outdated email address. This helps to create a polished and credible impression.

Job Resume considerations

Final thoughts... Your résumé is your chance to make a strong impression on potential employers within the first 7 seconds of their review. By following these ten essential tips, you can craft an impressive résumé that stands out from the competition and increases your chances of getting noticed and securing an interview.

Remember to customise your résumé for each job application, highlight your relevant skills and accomplishments, keep it concise, proof read for errors, use relevant keywords, demonstrate your cultural fit, and provide up-to-date contact information.

With a well-crafted C.V., you can showcase your qualifications and make a positive impression that leads to your dream job. So invest time and effort in creating a powerful résumé that sets you apart and helps you take that crucial step towards your career goals.

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