I have seen that people who are applying for a job write a very detailed resume and yet never pay attention to the structure, design and flow of the resume. For them, let me tell you, the maximum time a person who is in the hiring position spends on resume skimming is 20 seconds.

Yes, in 20 seconds the hiring manager or recruiter makes a decision of whether to give you a call or not. And in these 20 seconds, they do not go through the details that you have spent a lot of time on.

You must grab their attention and leave a positive mark on their minds. The best way to do that is by keeping the message clear and concise. Be a storyteller in your resume. Focus on telling the potential employer about the things you can do for them and back it up with the results of your efforts.

Most candidates find it ridiculous that they are being judged by a sheet of paper and are not being given a chance to express in verbal words by meeting. Let me tell you, if you would be in their position, you would do the same. Recruiters and hiring managers get a lot of resumes. They really can’t give more than a 20 second time to each resume or they will never finish going through all the resumes. They work on the mechanism of skimming through the resume. They spot the keywords and skills they are looking out for. And if they find them in the right places, that resume gets selected to have more attention span than others.

I am totally supportive of this approach, since it also separates the ones who are smart enough to understand how to make themselves look interesting than others. A quick suggestion here: make sure your intoduction, cover-letter, and key titles have the words that would make you look highly skilled.

Another suggestion. Do something very different yet positively interesting. Make your resume memorable for the recruiter. There is no way you can afford to create a regular resume and get an interview call. Your resume is the only source for the recruiter to judge you. And you know it well that nobody wants to interview a boring person.

Make sure that you look genuine in your resume by putting enough numbers to back your claims. For example, if you say you have a certain skill then either share information of a certificate that you have or share how you used it and got specific results.

The objective statement

Should you have an objective statement or not?

If you have little to no work experience, you must have an objective statement. But avoid it, since your work experience will be much more interesting to read about on getting your resume in hand.

Whoever uses objective statement, must remember that it’s an objective statement and NOT a goal statement or anything else. An objective is a very short term target. So, make sure your objective statement talks about the objective of the resume and not your career goals. Make sure your objective statement answers their goals on hiring you and not yours.

If you do not have anything impressive and meaty to write in your objective statement then avoid it. Do not fill it up unnecessarily and make a bad impression on the recruiter in the very first line. Do not use generic statements like, “A desire to work for a wonderful company and grow my skills.” It will cause more harm to your application. Be genuine and share an objective if you have one.