Your resume is your first impression, and just like in-person encounters, you rarely get a second chance at making the first one count. The average length of time spent by a recruiter looking at a resume is 5-7 seconds, and that’s after the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) eliminates 75% of submissions. Your headline is what will either entice hiring managers to read on or to move on to the next one, so use these three tips to turn your first impression into a lasting one.
The ATS robots read your resume before human hands pick it up, so you need to use keywords associated with the job description within the text. Include the job title as well. If you’re applying for a software developer position, your headline may read like this:
“Extensive knowledge as a [job title examples] systems architect and software developer – [key word examples] analysis, design, architecture, development and management of complex software solutions.”
Keep it clear and concise
When a recruiter is reading your headline, he or she shouldn’t have to read between the lines. Keep the text to one sentence in length that highlights your skills and experience directly related to the position.
“Highly qualified [job title] Java developer offering more than 5 years of [some related keywords]: web programming, multimedia content development, business analysis experience within [your field] industry.”
Create a new headline for each position you apply to
The rule of thumb is to have your resume specifically tailored to each position you apply to, and the same goes for your headline. Use specific stats or achievements if applicable.
“10 years of experience as a key [job title] R&D team leader who was responsible for [keywords] sourcing, purchasing and developing products from concept to commercialization, [quantifiable achievement] improving bottom-line sales by 30%.”
One liners can pack a powerful professional punch when delivered correctly. Incorporate these tips into your resume to capture the attention of potential employers and articulate your value proposition.