Home > Tips from the Pros > Tips on how to get your resume noticed

Tips on how to get your resume noticed

One of my friends recently posted an available position within her company on a major job search website, and she instantly received tens of applications in her inbox. She works for a small business – she is not exclusively a hiring manager – so filling this vacancy was just an added responsibility on top of everything she had to do already. In other words, she had very little time to waste.

Her decision to read or discard a resume was made within seconds- and based simply on the length of the resume. “I simply don’t have enough time to read each person’s resume all the way through,” she says. “In order to give everyone a chance, I need to skim, and I need to skim through only the important information – I don’t have time to look for it. One resume I came across was 9 pages long, another was 7. One resume listed a retail position in 1976 as the top position under ‘work experience’ and another opened with a page-long biography. Who has time to read that?”

The answer is probably no one. You need to be mindful about the length of your resume – a reader can discard your resume without even looking at your name the second he or she sees that it is too long. Make it easy for them – they don’t want to hunt for the most relevant facts.

So how do you cut down the length? Keep some of the following in mind:

Objective statement:

Some people tend to get a little carried away here and it adds to the length of their resume. This is not supposed to be a paragraph or, even worse, a page. A sentence or two is plenty.

Professional experience:

This tends to be a problem for people with a lot of work experience. Make sure you provide the most information on the positions relevant to the job you are applying for. Keep dates in mind as well – unless absolutely necessary, you do not need to list positions you held 15 years ago.

References:

Do not provide these unless asked. Sometimes this can take up a lot of resume space.

While the ideal length of a resume is entirely debatable, you generally do not want to exceed 2 pages. Stick to the most important facts and try to incorporate some of my tips into cutting down the length – it will increase your chances of getting read!

© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com

Laura is the Marketing Coordinator for RedStarResume, a business that provides resume and cover letter writing services for students, graduates and young professionals. Contact laura: laura@redstarresume.com 

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  1. June 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Laura,

    An interesting insight however I don’t entirely agree with your comment to keep your CV/Resume to two pages. Most professionals with experience of 5-10 years simply won’t be able to portray themselves adequately within that amount of space. I don’t mind a 4 page CV if the first two pages are relevant.

    A CV of 7 or 10, of even 15 pages that I saw recently just indicates that the person has the communication skills of a goldfish so that hits my bin pretty quickly.

    Thanks for the article.

    • June 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Russ,
      Thanks for your comments and for following our blog
      The 2 pages is more directed towards graduates and young professionals. I agree that a professional with many years of experience may need more pages to adequately portray themselves. That being said you need to get the readers attention on page 1. That is the mot important!
      Cheers!

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