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How to Create Your First Resume to be Noticed During the Busy Hiring Season

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how good you are at what you do, if your resume isn’t in tip top shape then nobody will notice. If you were a business, then your resume would be your marketing campaign. Would you buy a product from somebody whose campaign is in poor order – full of mistakes, inconsistencies and addressed to a completely different customer?
Of course, you wouldn’t.
And the same is true of your resume. It needs to be in excellent shape because in the job-hunting business books are judged by their covers. And the cover is your resume.

It’s not a biography

The first thing that you’ve got to realize is that you’re not writing a biography. You’re not telling them about this, that and the other. You’re not sharing the kindergarten projects. You’ve got to be selective about what goes onto your resume.
There are two reasons for this.
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The first reason, the obvious one, is that the decent and the alright will detract from the great. And they will do so far more strongly than you can imagine. For example, in the much-lauded book Thinking Fast and Slow noble prize winner Daniel Kahneman discusses a now famous experiment in which people are offered two dinnerware sets and asked to rate how much they’d pay for them.
The second set contains all the items that the first set includes and also contains some additional items which have been damaged. In a direct comparison, the second set is more valuable than the first set. After all, it contains all the items plus some damaged ones.
But that was not how people saw it. When groups were asked to rate the worth of the dinnerware sets separately, the first set was rated as more valuable than the second. In other words, the damaged items detracted from the value of the whole set.
In the same way, talking about things that you did that are less optimal will detract from your value. So don’t throw the kitchen sink at your resume. It won’t help you.
The second reason is that when you try to put too much on your resume it will look cluttered and difficult to read. This will immediately negatively dispose of the HR manager towards you. After all, they’ve got enough resumes to look through! And as we frequently stick to the first judgment we form, that is something you really want to avoid.
Instead, consider using negative space. This is areas of white around points that are important so that people’s eyes are naturally drawn to those points. This will make it easier for people to see what is the most important and will also make sure that your resume looks restful and makes it far easier to consume. And that will positively dispose the HR manager towards you.
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It needs to be aimed at the right industry

In the same way, make sure that everything on your resume is relevant to the job you’re applying for and that the best content is higher up. Finished classes, that are relevant to the industry? Then make sure they’re clearly visible and that the HR manager doesn’t have to search for them.
Did a job that demonstrates you have experience in the industry? Then, rather than creating a chronological list of what you’ve done where people might not end up noticing it, put it at the top where they’re far more likely to see it.
Sure, this is more work than just sending out a generic resume to all the jobs that you’re interested in, but it will significantly raise your chances of getting hired. So by putting in a bit of extra effort right there at the beginning, you’re far likelier to find a job quickly. And that has to be worth that extra bit of investment, doesn’t it?

Look at alignment, spelling and grammar. Then do it again.

Okay, imagine that you’re trying to find somebody that is on the ball, precise and doesn’t make mistakes. And then you get a resume where the alignment is more jagged than a steak knife, the grammar is all messed up and they spelled their own name different on two different occasions.
Do you think you’d hire that person? I mean, they didn’t even put in any serious effort to remove mistakes from their resume. How well are they going to do in the day to day of a business place where the pressure is much higher and the demands are much greater?
That HR manager is going to reach the same conclusion. And into the shredder, your resume goes.
Don’t let that happen. Read your resume. Correct any mistake, however, small it may seem. Then get somebody else to read it and give you feedback. Even better, get a professional resume service to look at it. Then you can be really certain that you’re in the best position you can be.

It’s all about the first impression

We’re incredibly quick to judge as a species. And who can blame us? If we couldn’t decide quickly enough if that was a tiger hiding in those bushes then we’d never get to decide anything again. And so, people that judged quickly got to live, while people that judged slowly didn’t.
Now there might not be any tigers lurking in the bushes, but that quick judgment is still around. And sure, you can lament it. You can cry to the heavens that it’s unfair. That won’t change much, however.
So, instead, why not use it?
If we’re so quick to judge, make sure that your resume makes a great impression. So take your time to figure out what font to use, how to describe a task, whether you’ll use two columns or one, whether you’ll put your classes at the top or your jobs.
And as you keep sending out resumes, keep working on it. After all, resume writing is a skill that will serve you well throughout your life.
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