There are three key components to your resume that gain the most attention of hiring managers. Your resume should possess above the fold content, a value proposition statement, and relevant keywords.
Over the last 35 years, we have reviewed literally thousands of professional resumes. Our review allows our recruiters to determine which candidates to advance through the selection process. Most hiring managers use proprietary software to filter through resumes received. Once the resumes are received, they are reviewed for relevance (approximately 30 sec.) and then passed on for further review. When receiving literally hundreds of resumes for a single job posting you can imagine why there is a need to be efficient, yet selective when advancing candidates through the selection process. This underscores the reason why the information on your resume should be relevant.
We know that some resumes are one page in length and many can be longer based on your level of experience. But we still find the most popular length for a resume is two pages. It is important to know that the only purpose for your resume is to gain the attention of the hiring manager and to secure a face to face interview. So whether you decide to personally create your resume or use a consultant to prepare the resume, either is ok. With the ability to search the web for resume templates you will find that the tips provided here will be just as helpful and cost-effective to assist you in writing your own resume and saving literally, hundreds of dollars.
Above the Fold
The saying, above the fold, is how a Newspaper Editor would refer to information that was positioned above the fold line on a page. When a hiring manager reviews your resume, this is the information that will be viewed first. In the case of a paper resume [8.5×11], the most important parts of your resume should be printed in the top half of the front page.
Content layout and placement is important because the content that appears above the fold is what is first visible. This high visibility content should be the skills and qualifications that are most relevant for the job.
Value Proposition Statement
Your Value Proposition Statements represent another key component of your resume. This statement allows the hiring manager to know the value you will immediately bring to the job. It is important to take some time to paint a picture for the interviewer of the contributions and value you will bring to the company. There is no length requirement for a value proposition statement but we felt it should be between 4-6 lines. With this in mind, you should spend the necessary time to make sure your value proposition statement is impactful. Key points to keep in mind as you develop your statement:
- Identify the benefits that your skills and qualifications offer.
- Briefly, describe what makes your skills and qualifications of value to the client.
- List the employers’ main business challenge [wants] which should be listed in their job description.
- Other candidates are applying for this position. You will need to differentiate yourself as the preferred candidate for this job.
The keywords are words or short phrases that are related to the requirements for the job. They are the skills, abilities, credentials, and qualities that a hiring manager looks for in an ideal candidate. Take some time and read the entire job description with the goal of identifying keywords that are important for the function of the job. You should then take these keywords and incorporate them into your resume. In a short time, you will get comfortable in using these keywords in a conversational manner that conveys your core strengths for the position.
As you can see, it will take some thought in positioning these three components above the fold. Your resume will have to effectively represent you until you have the opportunity to meet with the client. But I know with some thought, editing, and looking for ways to keep the content relevant you will end up with an impactful professional resume.