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Your Resume Has 30 Seconds to Impress Recruiters

Imagine reading a book and the first few chapters made you feel like you just wasted your time. Would you actually want to continue reading it? Probably not. In a similar sense, no recruiter would want to read resume that doesn't command attention.

The good news: After investing long hours to update and fine-tune your resume, it finally landed in the hands of someone that can make a difference in your career.

The bad news: The person reviewing your resume will probably only look at it for about 30 seconds.

Here are a couple of quick types that will help make your resume a bit more appealing:

Visually Balanced (the "glance")

To tell if your resume is visually balanced, fold your resume in half (vertically). How does it look? If it's too heavy on a particular side, work on making your resume more visually balanced. In other words, focus on adding more text on the opposite side of the fold to even out the amount of text on each side. By doing this, it will make resume to look more presentable at first glance.

Also, your resume must be visually attracting to the reviewer. Too little information looks like you don't have the experience; too much information could intimidate the reviewer. Be sure the find the balance between the two.

Location, Location, Location (the "skim")

When a recruiter is reviewing your resume, your resume has 30 seconds to impress the recruiter. Is it fair that you worked hours on your resume for someone to only look at it for a few seconds? No. Does it happen regularly? Absolutely. Keywords must be strategically placed so that the person reviewing your resume can immediately tell that you're the right candidate for the job. To execute this, always place the most relevant experience/keywords at the top of your resume. Don't wait until the end of your resume to say that you're the right person for the job.


Resume, interview and other career-related articles written by Tony Lim of Jobonomics.com. Empowering Job Seekers.