Recruiters spend just seconds looking at your resume. Not minutes – mere seconds. That means you have a short window of opportunity to grab their attention and make a strong case for why they should give your resume a second look. If your resume is too long, too short, too simple, too complex, too confusing, or a variety of other adjectives, chances are, it’s being passed over. While there is no perfect solution to make sure your resume checks all of the right boxes – after all, no two recruiters or hiring managers are exactly alike – there are ways you can structure your resume to be more appealing.

Break it down: Divide your resume into clearly defined sections so that recruiters can quickly scan to find what they are looking for or know what they are looking at. Common subsections include core competences, professional experience, education, professional affiliations, and volunteer experience. Pick what works best for your background and keeps things clear and organized. You don’t want 25 different sections when three or four will do.

Get to the point: With just a few seconds to get a recruiter’s attention, you don’t want to waste your time with fluffy, verbose sentences. Start each bullet with a powerful action verb and say what you need to say as concisely as possible. Statements that show achievements or results are preferred, so consider using verbs such as increased, decreased, improved, reduced, generated, or spearheaded.

Numbers talk: Metrics are a valuable asset if you have access to this type of data. Numbers, dollar signs, and percentages attract the eye amidst a page of text. This also provides quantifiable support for what you have accomplished and demonstrates results.

Be upfront: Start off your resume with a strong summary that defines who you are and what you can do. Don’t make recruiters guess when it comes to how you brand yourself as a professional. Follow this with a clear list of core competencies that quickly conveys the skills you possess – and make sure these skills align with what recruiters are looking for in a particular role. The top one-third of your resume is where recruiters often spend the most time.

Remain consistent: Use the same font, format, and style throughout your resume. If you start by bolding the company and italicizing your position, do the same thing for each entry. If you’re using 10-point font for bullets, make sure this applies to every bullet point. Consistency makes it easier for a recruiter to skim your resume with better understanding.

Focus on making each statement count and have a clear purpose. Try giving your resume to a friend and see what stands out the most after reviewing it for a few seconds. This can shed light on areas you may want to tighten up or make more impactful. If you’re struggling with how to format your resume to be more attractive to recruiters and what you should (or shouldn’t) include, turn to the professionals at Grammar Chic. We’ll work with you to create a polished resume that presents you in a positive light. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or