7 Tips for Attention-Grabbing ResumesFebruary 12, 2013 by William Frierson
Think of how many news articles you read daily. Now think about recruiters who review hundreds of resumes day in and day out. What makes the difference between an article — or a resume — that may be eagerly devoured in its entirety, and another that merely receives a passing glance? What has to happen in that 3- to 10-second span to garner attention and keep the reader engaged?
While the newspaper industry has fallen on hard times during the last few years, it behooves you to think like a journalist when crafting your resume. This mindset may enhance your chances of cracking the barrier between you and your next job, so here are some things you need to include to quickly capture the attention of employers.
7. A Clear & Concise Masthead
One of the main things many people look for in a newspaper (or online news site) is the masthead or header. A lot of thought goes into the design and layout of a header. I like to call this thought process the “friend factor.” What colors and information will hook you as a reader? A lot of thought has gone into this design.
Mastheads come in two styles — those aimed at a specific demographic and those trying to gain traction with the public at large. Who is your demo?
Think of the “Contact Information” on your resume as your masthead. Within this single inch of space you have the opportunity to grab the reader’s attention much more than you might think. Tell them your name, omit your physical address (what value does it really have??), provide your email address and phone number, state whether you are able to travel/relocate, tell them any special qualifications you might have such as being bi-lingual or having a security clearance.
One last thing I always recommend for the header is to tell the reader that you don’t smoke. (Yes, I always get grief for this but the reality is that this is a big deal in hiring circles. I’m just the messenger.) My goal in getting you to think your resume header is to get the recruiter to like you — the friend factor I mentioned earlier.
6. An Eye-Catching Headline
There are some things I am a proponent of on your resume that, quite frankly, recruiters would rather I not tell you (omitting your physical address for one). But when it comes to the headline component of your journalistic resume, recruiters love me.
I insist that you create a “Seeking Statement.” A single line centered and bold just below your Masthead — um, contact information — that tells the reader exactly what you are seeking. This “headline” grabs their attention and warrants further reading.
State the title of the position you are seeking, insert the name of the company and a reference number. Make it easy for HR or a staffing professional to route your resume to the correct hiring manager at the outset. Continue reading . . .
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