“Attention is a precious commodity.” –Brian Solis
According to The Ladders, recruiters take six seconds to decide if a candidate is a good fit for a role. Get your recruiter’s attention with a stellar resume. A stellar resume is organized, concise, and proves why you are a good candidate for the role. We have developed a resume structure based on thousands of interactions with job candidates. Maximize your chances of success by building an attention-getting seven-section resume.
Section 1: Contact Information and Credentials
The first section of an attention-getting resume has three parts: contact information, portfolio access, and credentials. First, provide your contact information. Then ensure that your name, phone number, and address are up-to-date. List your preferred contact method first. Next, provide the necessary information for someone to view your work portfolio. Also include URLs for your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, and other relevant media platforms. Finally, list your credentials.
Section 2: Professional Summary and Core Competencies
The second section of an attention-getting resume includes a professional summary followed by a list of core competencies. First, write a three- or four- sentence description of you. Then list your core competencies in a bulleted format. Additionally, when you apply for a new role, customize your professional summary and core competencies for that role.
Section 3: Selected Achievements
The third section of an attention-getting resume is a list of achievements. First, select achievements that are most-relevant to the particular role you are pursuing. Then list these achievements in a bulleted format. Write each achievement as a one-sentence description, but be as specific as possible. While not appropriate for all achievements, include numbers and percentages where necessary.
Section 4: Professional Experience
The fourth section of an attention-getting resume includes your professional experience. List your most-recent employment first. Additionally, for each position, include your job title, a brief summary of the role and the dates you were employed. Then include achievements or recognitions you earned in each role. In addition, maintain consistent formatting throughout this section. However, significant gaps in your work experience can concern recruiters and hiring managers. Don’t seem like you have something to hide. Be clear and open about any gaps.
Section 5: Career Note
The fifth section of an attention-getting resume includes any additional notes a potential employer should know. Importantly, include only the last 15 years of experience. Often, this is a simple additional employment notification. Write a one-sentence summary and note that details are available upon request.
Section 6: Education
The sixth section of an attention-getting resume includes your education and degrees. Additionally, choose whether or not to include the dates of degree completion.
Section 7: Affiliations
The seventh section of an attention-getting resume includes your professional affiliations. Importantly, include specific roles attached to each affiliation.
Your resume should be specific and concise. Limit it to no longer than two pages. Include only one page of content if you have less than five years of experience. Include one to two pages of content if you have between five and ten years of experience. At most, include two pages of content if you have more than ten years of experience. Give a solid overview of your experience by providing enough detail about each role you’ve held. However, don’t condense so much that you neglect to include important information about what you have achieved. Remember to check the basic formatting. Choose a professional font. Ensure it is no smaller than 10-point or 11-point size.
Importantly, take some license to make your resume stand out. Some positions attract many candidates. In this case, hiring managers process dozens of resumes at a time. Consider adding a header, putting specific words or phrases in bold type, or using a small amount of color. You have more freedom to add artistic elements if you work in a creative field.
This seven-section resume catches the eye of recruiters and hiring managers. A concise and comprehensive resume helps you stand out from similar applicants. Find more information in our Knowledge Center. Check out our post on Five Resume Rules that get you the interview, or our post about Interview Preparation for winning your dream job.