Quickly hooks the audience. Sets the storyline. Shows a few “best of” moments. Leaves them wanting more.
The making of a good movie trailer, AND…a good resume. Like a movie trailer, your resume is a marketing tool, and has just seconds to hook the audience (recent studies show as few as 6 to be exact). Get past those first 6 seconds, and you’ve bought yourself possibly an additional few minutes to entice them to see (or hear) the full story. So what goes into the making of a good resume? Grab some popcorn…and your computer.
Hooking the reader: The top third of the first page is valuable, prime real estate. Use it to introduce yourself (name and contact information) and then offer a short summary of what you can do for them. How can you help them achieve more, be more efficient, or solve a problem?
They’re still reading?? Nice!
Set the stage and offer a few highlights: You’ve earned yourself some more of their time. Use this to show the path you took to get to where you are now. What jobs have you held and with who? Hold their attention by mixing in key highlights. Not just what skills and accomplishments you have, but also how you achieved them, and exceeded goals. (Don’t forget to include software and systems experience) Share examples. Paint the picture. How did they help your former/current employer? Who recognized your work or achievements? Have examples of your work? Consider setting up a personal website for your online portfolio (a collection of your work). Include a link to the site in your resume.
Leave them wanting to know more: This is your trailer. You cannot effectively tell your full story in the few minutes given with your resume, so save details and backstories for the interview.
A few additional tips from our recruiters:
Have social media accounts? Use these to “brand” yourself. Share your expertise, participate in relevant and important industry conversations. Connect with thought leaders…and potential employers. Always assume prospective employers are going to look at these account to learn more about you. Make sure what you put out there is what you want them to see.
Include industry keywords. For companies using software to do preliminary scans, you don’t want to eliminate yourself for lack of including. Like skills, don’t just throw them in. Include details that demonstrate your level of experience and/or knowledge.
Don’t forget the basics: spelling and grammar…they still count! Enlist a few people you trust to proofread your resume. Typos can show lack of attention to detail and quickly disqualify you.