How to write the perfect resume recruiters love to read

knowledge hub
July 16, 2022
When it comes to writing a resume, figuring out what you need can be a bit of a minefield. Here is a quick guide on what you need, why you need it and how to go about writing that perfect resume for your next job application.

When it comes to writing a resume, figuring out what you need can be a bit of a minefield.

Here is a quick guide on what you need, why you need it and how to go about writing that perfect resume for your next job application.

Resume layout, length, number of pages, and word count

Based on eye tracking studies, the lowest performing resumes are often cluttered, filled with keywords rather than actual relevant information, and has little white space.

Acording to Forbes, If a resume's formatting is too complicated, it can lead to applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automatically reject potential candidates because the software can't read the resumes.

So what does the perfect resume look like?

  • clear formatting
  • easy to read fonts (sans-serifs recommended)
  • relevant content to the job application
  • 2-pages maximum

What's the major difference between 2 pages vs. single page resume?

It indicates to potential employers that you are not an entry level candidate. That is, you have enough experience to fill out more than half a page. This equates to about 600 words in total.

According to ERE (Regruiding Intelligence), recruiters tend to prefer 2 pages over single page resumes.

Resume sections you need

Work Experience

According to CareerBuilder, 54% of rejections is due to lack of resume customization. This means that applicants are just applying without tailoring their resumes to the job descriptions.

So when it comes to your work experience, write a short blurb on relevant experience.

A job is more than just a one dimensional thing. Most of the time, you're not confined to a single task. Select the tasks and projects that are relevant to your job application.

Here are some tips:

  • Include metrics and stats where possible. Having something that is measureable makes it easier to quantify your value as a potential candidate.
  • Exclude the buzzwords and cliches. They add no value to your application and makes you look generic.

Focus on your most recent experience. No one needs to know about that job you did waaaay back in the 90s as a high school senior. Keep it recent. Combine multiple related points into a single point. You don't need to repeat yourself. You have limited space, so use it as a marketing tool to maximize your sales pitch.

Education

Education matters. Yes, we're in the age of self starters but when it boils down to certain roles, having a degree can matter.

If you don't have anything, then any kind of continuing education certification matters. Think online MOOCs. Edx certification. Coursera. They don't take long to do and can easily beef up your resume and make it relevant to the job application.

Community & Interests

Relevance is key. Don't add horse riding in as an interest if the job isn't related to horses or animals in some way.

Base your interests and community involvements around the job. When it comes to hiring, relvance is the key word to getting an interview.

Highlight your skills

According to recruiters, problem solving, communication, and the ability to deal with complexity are often the top missing soft skills.

While it's common to highlight skills in your resume, not many people are splitting them between hard and soft skills. Things like agile and project management can fall into either, depending on context.

Contact

So what do you actually need to include in the contact section?

  • your email
  • phone number (or timezone if working offshore remotely)
  • LinkedIn profile

According to research, having a LinkedIn profile link increases interview rates but only 48% of applicants include them.

When there's a LinkedIn profile, 13.5% gets a callback. While it doesn't sound like much, this is significantly higher than the usual 7.9% callback rate.

The summary of what you need in your resume

  • Clean minimal layout with balanced white space.
  • Relevant content. Pass up on the fluff and buzzwords.
  • 2 pages minimum. 2 pages maximum.
  • use metrics to sell your worth.

If you're looking for a clear and concise resume template, check out Zipply's simple resume builder. Just click on the text you want to change, make your edits, and download as a PDF.

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