What Employers Look for on a Resume

Helpful Tips Post-It

How long do employers look at your resume? 1 minute? 30 seconds? The answer is an average of 6 seconds. In order to maximize your potential in the allotted time, it is recommended that you personalize it to the reader. Employers read numerous resumes and if the information is not clearly connected to the job, they will skip your resume. The proper format and material is just the beginning of the process. Consider the following pointers:

  1. Error Free and Grammatically Correct Documents – A mistake in any application document risks the reader rejecting your candidacy for lack of attention to detail. Proofread your documents!
  2. Concise Writing Style – Employers prefer a writing style that utilizes action verbs and an active voice; passive writing is not recommended. Address the important points directly to keep the audience’s attention.
  3. Experience vs. Academics –Many employers look at Relevant Experience, which could permit excluding your GPA only if it is not required. However, if academics are emphasized then consider including honors, awards, GPA, etc. Technical skills are always desired for both experience and academics.
  4. Formatting – Organizational techniques such as Reverse Chronological Order, ordering by most recent to least recent, and consistency, maintaining the same format for all sections will give you an advantage. This will assist the reader to find key information and allow them to navigate your resume effortlessly. Formatting is key. An effective resume will draw the reader’s attention/interest in approximately 6 seconds.
  5. Include Hometown Address When Applying Locally– Applying near your hometown could provide an advantage due to locality.
  6. Honesty – Truthfully listing your experiences allows for easier conversation with an interviewer.

~ Randall, Career Peer Advisor

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