What are some of the most important elements of a resume to ensure you grab a recruiter’s attention? Here are five things to focus on.

Disregard the Use of Paragraphs

When typing a resume, you want it to be as simple to read as possible. Stay away from listing your job experience as one long stream paragraph. The recruiters will skim your resume for relevant keywords that relate your experience to the position(s) you are applying for. Listing your job responsibilities as bullet points, allow you to group each task and other vital details in a concise summary. Using straight to the point descriptive words in a “short and sweet” description, with bullets is key.

Spellcheck Personally

What do we mean by this? Not only should you use a program that checks for spelling errors (like Microsoft Word and Grammarly) but ensure you read over your resume more than one time to scan for errors as well.  An auto-scan program is great for obvious mistakes. But it does not always detect misuse of a word, for example using “conscience” and “conscious”. It’s also beneficial to have another set of eyes to review your resume before submitting it out. For further resume tips, check out our eBook.

Avoid Graphics

Unless you’re submitting a portfolio for a position that requests that you show your work – when it comes to graphics and your resume, avoid merging the two. From a personal photo, illustrations, text coloring, or unique fonts. Again, depending on the industry and position, this may be beneficial, however, resumes with heavy use of graphics can be too busy and overwhelming. Short and sweet and to the point is plenty.

Skip the Template

From a recruiter’s standpoint, resumes formatted in a template are difficult, both relating to the content and the appearance.  Many of the default resume templates made available from Microsoft Word are formatted by tables, which can throw off the flow of a resume, and often create issues with uploading to our database. We wrote an entire blog on what resume template you should use, here, to help.

Triple Check Your Contact Information

Although it is not extremely common, there are times that we will receive a resume with either no contact information listed, or a misspelling of the email address or phone number and we are unable to get in to touch with them. To ensure that you are contacted if an opportunity arises, triple check your phone number, and the email you have listed (is this one you check often?) before submitting your resume.