The 10-Second Resume Rule: Make an Immediate Impression or You’ll Lose
Most initial resume screenings last an average of 10 seconds or less, which is how the rule got its name. This initial evaluation happens very quickly, whether it is done using a human reviewer or technology. Nearly 75% of all applicants for any position are easily eliminated in this initial screening process. Did you get it? Within the first 10 seconds of resume review, 75% of all applicants are rejected. Bye. See you later. thanks for applying
To beat the 10-second résumé rule, your résumé must be able to quickly convince a reviewer, be it a computer or a human, in just a few seconds that you meet the requirements of the position and have the experience they need, and fact, is the candidate. they need to hire. Simple, right?
Resuming writing is so challenging for this reason. It is the most difficult form of persuasive writing. Why? Because there are few subjects more difficult for most people to write about than themselves. This is why many people find more success in hiring a professional resume writer to help them.
fix my resume
Let’s clear this up now: there is no simple solution. The selection process relies on the fact that many resumes don’t measure up. Writing a resume is hard. That’s all about it. Most people don’t like to write. Most people don’t like sales. A resume is both: it’s a written sales pitch. Oh! Double hits.
So how do you fix a resume then?
10 Second Resume Rule Revealed
Let’s review the keys that make up the 10-second resume rule. You can’t beat a system you don’t understand, can you? These resume tips will improve your resume’s chances of making it through the initial 10-second screening round.
1. Devote most of your time to the most read part of your resume
Contrary to what you may think, the most read part of your resume is not your name. When there are hundreds of resumes to review, names matter little in initial evaluations. The most read part of your resume is your profile or summary of experience. If your resume is missing this section, you’re missing your best opportunity to generate interest. It used to be common to put an objective at the top of your resume. However, the Profile or Experience Summary section has completely replaced the Goal section. Why? It’s a quick 3-4 sentence overview of your qualifications. This acts as an executive summary for a reviewer clearly stating why you are the best candidate for this specific position. If you don’t generate interest in this section, your chances of further review or even an interview are slim.
Write the Summary of Experience section of your resume for each specific position you are seeking. You must make a compelling case for why you are the perfect candidate. For example, if you were applying for a computer programming job, you should focus your Summary of Experience on your computer programming skills and experience and establish yourself as qualified immediately. It may be nice that you were in a community play or that you were a scout leader, but it’s not relevant and won’t get you the job. The ultimate purpose of this section is to quickly make you stand out from other applicants. As you write your Summary of Experience, ask yourself if anyone else could make the same statements on their own resume. If so, you need to go back and rework it again. You need to establish your value to the employer and clearly tell them, “This is what I can do for you.” Investing your time in this step will reap great rewards.
Tip 2. Learn how job search technology works and use it to your advantage
The technology is now in use at most medium and large employers to help manage job applicants. This technology is much more accessible to a wider range of employers as prices have come down in recent years. Why is this important for you? Because most of these software applications are used to quickly remove up to 75% of applicants from the review pool, saving HR staff a lot of time and effort.
This technology presents some risks to you as a potential job candidate, so you need to understand how they work. Many of these so-called applicant tracking systems do not recognize elements in table format, text boxes, or other graphical elements. They are very text-based. Therefore, you should avoid embedding anything important in graphical elements, such as text boxes or tables, to ensure that these applicant tracking systems don’t miss them.
Tip 3. A Simple Resume Format and Resume Template Work Best
Much of the initial resume review process can be done using software tools as mentioned above. This software typically scans a resume for specific sections of information, such as profile or resume, work experience, education, training, etc. If the software can’t identify where the information is on your resume, the information you worked so hard to put on your resume is likely to be skipped over. Rarely will you get a second chance from an in-person reviewer. So, keep your resume format simple to avoid getting into trouble with the software tools used by potential employers.
Tip 4. Present your work experience in a CAR
Not a literal car, but an acronym CAR to help guide your resume writing.
First, for each position listed on your resume, provide a short paragraph describing your roles and responsibilities. This tip is designed to make sure you use keywords related to the position that the software may be searching for on your resume. If done correctly, it should allow your resume to rank higher in the system.
The next step is to create a bulleted list of achievements in each position using the CAR method. For each bullet, follow the CAR formula: list a Challenge you faced, followed by the Action you took, and identify the Results of those actions. You need to make sure that the achievements you include are relevant and meaningful so that a reviewer doesn’t read it and say “who cares”. This is very important. Those who write resumes for a living are very skilled at wording these accomplishments to sound very impressive and make them relevant. For example:
Taking over the development of the client’s website that was months behind schedule. Developed a plan to divide the work among staff and allocate additional resources to get the project back on track, ultimately meeting all original deadlines for the site and receiving a recommendation from the client.
- Client Consultant of the Year Award
Approach your writing for each position like this: first a short paragraph about roles and responsibilities, followed by a bulleted list of accomplishments. These should catch the eye of resume reviewers. If you’re struggling with writing, you may want to enlist the help of a professional resume writer to begin your job search.
5. Offer evidence for your statements
The old adage that finding a job is a job is true. You have a responsibility to show a potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. To do this, you need to build your case from scratch. This means that you must provide proof of every statement you make. For example, if you say you have 6 years of Java programming or accounts payable experience, an employer should be able to go through your job descriptions on your resume one by one and identify those 6 years for themselves.
Avoid basic and general statements that cannot be supported. To achieve this, you need to offer details instead of meaningless phrases like top performer, top achiever, employee of the month, etc. While I’m sure these are great achievements, you should explain why and how these recognitions should be important to a new employer. Remember, real recognition is secondary to your achievements, a potential employer will care more about why you got the recognition.
6. Avoid flowery language that diminishes your achievements
You could have a comedy show with some of the statements that people make on their resumes. You don’t want your resume to stand out for the wrong reasons. Avoid creative writing. Avoid big words and unusual vocabulary. Avoid exaggerated statements that make you sound like you saved the universe. They immediately call their credibility into question. Resume writer Don Goodman shares one of his favorite statements as “Accelerated performance to stellar heights.” Says Goodman, “People don’t talk like that; I’ve never heard an executive tell the HR person that they needed someone who could propel performance to stellar heights. As an amateur poet wrote.”
7. Keep it relevant
In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important as an event was to me in my life, it’s completely irrelevant to our discussion here of resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it’s not relevant or you can’t rephrase it to be relevant to the job or the employer, leave it. Focus your resume on the elements that qualify you for the position you’re seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however all I remember is that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yeah, that was interesting, but it completely surpassed his qualifications for the programming job that I don’t even remember. Basically, limit the items on your resume to those relevant to the position you’re applying for. Don’t include items irrelevant to that position on your resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, it means you’ll have multiple enhanced versions of your resume for each type of position you’re applying for.
You will get better job search results using the 10 second resume rule
Ten seconds is usually all you get to pique the interest of a potential employer for any job. These top resume tips should help you fine-tune your resume and achieve better results. To say it again, writing a resume and finding a job isn’t easy, especially in a tough economy where an average of over 300 applicants apply for a job opening. You have to make yourself stand out, there is no alternative. Use this strategy to make your resume stand out from the crowded field of applicants in those all-important 10 seconds. Put these tips into practice and you should start seeing results.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure if you’re up to the task, you may want to consider the services of a top resume writer. Every day, these professionals work with people just like you and turn your resume into marketing masterpieces. Most people can benefit from your experience and ability to put together a resume that will make you stand out and dramatically shorten your job search time. This is your business and sometimes you just need to call in a professional to get the best results. And in this economy, the number of applicants you’re competing against means you need to take every advantage you can get.