In less than 10 seconds, recruiters and hiring managers decide whether or not they will contact you for an interview. In other words, your resume has to convince someone to call you in 10 seconds or less.

You’ve likely put a great deal of time and effort into crafting your resume, but if you’re not getting results, it’s not making the right first impression. Some changes and optimization might still be needed to make your resume attractive to a recruiter or hiring manager.

To help your resume get noticed, we’ve developed a short process to get you better results when applying to job opportunities.

1. A Professional Format

The format you choose for your resume can make or break your first impression. Opt for a resume with lots of white space that is easy to read; you don’t necessarily need to get fancy.

Some underlining or bolding, clearly defined sections, your name on all pages, page numbers (if more than one page) and contact information are helpful tips to organize the document. The format you choose for your resume should not take attention away from the information you’re putting on your resume.

2. A Professional Format

A resume that starts with a candidate’s education or academic achievements generally does not hold a reader’s interest. In fact, this is a missed opportunity (and a key reason why you’re not getting contacted for interviews). A recruiter or hiring manager reads academic records every day; even if you have more education than the position requires, it’s not the best choice to engage a reader.

However, a brief introduction (also called a profile or summary) that focuses on your professional and educational experiences, what you’ve studied, your skills and an achievement or two is a much better way to keep someone reading your resume than listing your education. You want to engage the person reading your resume by explaining your experience and achievements clearly and concisely in one or two short paragraphs. Once you’ve outlined how and why you’re a suitable candidate with the first section of your resume, the hiring manager may contact you before they read the rest of the document.

3. Keywords

You’ve probably heard (or read) about SEO specialists discussing keywords when they’re marketing different services, but keywords are relevant on resumes, too. Quite simply, a keyword is the word or phrase we query for in a search engine when we’re looking for something. Whether you’re using Google, or you’re a hiring manager looking for a specific skill in hundreds of resumes, keywords are appropriate in both situations.

A hiring manager is usually looking for the skills they put in the job description for the position. This is why we tell our clients that some resume changes and resume optimization are essential when they apply for every position! For example, if a position you’re applying for requires AutoCAD knowledge, do not list “drafting software” as one of your skills. Instead, be specific, and include “AutoCAD” with your software-related skills on your resume; you may even add the number of years you have used the software if this is a requirement in the job posting.

Give Yourself a Competitive Advantage

Landing a job interview in a highly saturated job market if not easy. Different kinds of resume services offer resume optimization techniques to help you get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers.
Are you wondering how your resume measures up against the competition? Send your resume to for a free assessment and discovery call today!

The Write Approach has experience supporting clients in different industries: