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Your Ten Seconds of Fame Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

At some point in your job search you may have wondered why so many career coaches spend lots of time talking about how to write the perfect resume, when you may have also heard that recruiters spend very little time reviewing it. The absolute truth is that your resume has only about 10 seconds to really impress a recruiter, or it's likely to just go unnoticed.

An article from Vault.com on the NY Times website says it all. "Because of the masses of job searchers, most managers and human resource employees receive an enormous number of resumes. Faced with a pile of paper to wade through every morning, employers look for any deficiency possible to reduce the applicant pool to a manageable number. Thus, your resume must present your information quickly, clearly, and in a way that makes your experience relevant to the position in question. That means condensing your information down to its most powerful form."

The writer goes on to say "Distill, distill, distill. Long, dense paragraphs make information hard to find and require too much effort from the overworked reader. If that reader can't figure out how your experience applies to the available position, your resume is not doing its job. Solve this problem by creating bulleted, indented, focused statements. Short, powerful lines show the reader, in a glance, exactly why they should keep reading."

Let's try an experiment.

Pretend you are a recruiter trying to fill a position that you know you are very well suited for. Give yourself only 10 seconds to review your resume. Does your resume give you a good understanding of your work experience? Do your qualifications shine through within those 10 seconds? Do your accomplishments jump off the page? Do you have paragraphs or large chunks of information that act as "speed bumps" that slow you down as you scan through it?

When the 10 seconds are over, considering editing your resume to reflect what you learned. Now might be a good time to blast those paragraphs into a few crisp, concise, focused bullets that can effectively tell the same story. Each bullet should be two lines at most, but one line is often sufficient. Consider showing your new resume to someone in the same industry or to someone with a similar job function to see if they believe that you have solved the 10 second conundrum.

Last but not least, remember to proofread your newly edited resume. And, of course, ask at least one other person to proofread it as well. The last thing you want is a well-formatted resume with excellent content to have grammar or spelling mistakes.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
With only 10 seconds of fame, you need to work hard to get a recruiter's attention. Creating a concise resume will not only help you impress us on paper, but it will also help you become a focused interviewee who is able to answer questions as targeted as a speeding bullet.
 
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!