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How to write a resume that employers will actually read

If your strategy for getting hired involves getting noticed in a stack of resume, then you’ll need more than luck. You’ll need a resume that sells you in 6 seconds. Because these days, that’s all the time an employer will spend reading it.

6 seconds? How did it come to this?

You remember those friends from school who seemed to think that getting a job was just a numbers game? The ones who spammed out their resume to as many companies as possible?

Well, they totally ruined job hunting for all of us.

Thanks to them, most job postings receive hundreds of applications. Most of these applications will be from people who aren’t even remotely qualified for the job.

The upshot is that no human being will end up looking at a majority of resumes submitted. And the resumes that recruiters do look at will receive a mere 6 seconds of attention.

“We’ll keep your resume on file.”

Your foot in the door

LinkedIn is not your resume. GitHub is not your resume. Your CodePen pens and Dribbble shots are not your resume. Your resume is your resume.

Your resume is the CliffsNotes to your working life. It’s an opportunity to pack your most important accomplishments into a single large-font document.

Your resume has to convince recruiters that you’re worth investigating further. Only then they will they take the time to look at your portfolio links and reach out to your references.

Make the most of your 6 seconds

How many words can a human even read in 6 seconds? Not many. So you’d better be brief.

  • Only use one page

  • Don’t include a photo

  • Typos kill

  • Use keywords carefully

  • Use a headline

  • Be brief

  • Explain your gaps honestly

  • Don’t waste time customizing a cover letter

  • Don’t waste space stating the obvious

  • Give your resume a meaningful file name

  • You gotta do what you gotta do

Author - Quincy Larson



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