The Essential Six Seconds

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Does your resume tell your best story in six seconds?  According to research conducted by TheLadders, as reported in The Business Insider, that’s all the time recruiters spend reviewing a resume.  Your resume has to be catchy and easy to read from the beginning.  Is your opening statement exciting?  Does it leave them begging for more?

You may be a seasoned healthcare professional or a newbie with a recent degree or certification, but you’ll need to compete with hundreds of others with good credentials.  How can you be sure your resume is going to make you rise above the rest?

No matter how impressive your background is, it’s how you format your resume as well as the information on it that will make the difference.   Recruiters want to be able find the information fast.  They have so many resumes to read, they won’t take the time to search out information that should be readily available. 

With just six seconds to shine, the executive summary statement at the top of the first page has to pop.  You don’t need an objective statement, which can actually limit your chances.  An objective statement with a specific career path or job will eliminate you from jobs that fit your qualifications but not your stated goal.  Showcase your overall career experience, areas of expertise and personal traits and let recruiters envision you in their position. 

Help recruiters find you with clear, simple contact information.  You don’t need your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterist, or other social media sites on your resume.  LinkedIn, maybe, if it’s up-to-date and will help your cause.   Name, email and phone number is enough.  Putting the contact information on each page helps, just in case the pages get separated.  You want to give recruiters every opportunity to get in contact with you.

Other ways to make a perfect resume include information about the companies you worked for, especially if they are well-known.  Help a recruiter visualize the company by including the size, number of employees, sales figures, or any other distinguishing factors.  Are they Fortune 500 or 100 companies?  Rated as one of the best companies to work for?  Won any recent industry awards? 

Next, a few bullet points listing your accomplishments show how you personally made a difference as an employee.  Just like with interviews, past behavior is an indicator of future success.  Accomplishment statements give details about the information in your summary statement.  Bullet points make your accomplishments easy to see and read at a glance. 

Resumes have to be customized to the job.  In order to be searchable, they have to include keywords so recruiters can find you online.  How can you find them?  Create a word cloud on websites like  Just cut and paste the job listing and creates a visual design with key words most prominent.  Use these keywords in your resume and cover letter.  The design, formatting and keywords will help you get noticed and make the phone ring with interview requests.

These are just a few of the tactics that you can use to get your resume noticed.  With only six seconds to get your resume noticed, you need to make every second count.


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