Putting together a good resume can be a difficult task. Faced with a blank Word doc and a list of achievements, there are countless ways you could proceed. Of course, you’ll have a few creative ideas of your own – but while it’s great to stand out from the pile, you don’t want to accidentally do something that will make you look unprofessional. Thankfully, the research is in. We now know a number of ways you can build and tweak that CV, each of which is proven effective at impressing potential employers.
One troubling fact revealed by the research is that recruiters may spend as little as six seconds checking out your resume. They have a lot to look through, they know more or less exactly what they want and – heck, and it can be boring reading endless CVs all day long! You can get ahead of the game by concentrating your strongest skills onto that first page, and ordering your achievements in reverse chronological order so as not to waste time on less relevant facts. This will also help you to focus your resume: with 58% of employers saying that 1-2 pages are all they want to see, most of us need to be selective about what we include.
If you’re curious about what science has to say about the digital age specifically, you’d be right to keep up to date: while a good headshot is essential for your LinkedIn profile, it’s considered passé on an offline CV. You can instead help recruiters to get a broader picture of you by including links to your Twitter or LinkedIn profile. Nearly three-quarters of recruiters reckon this is advisable.
This is just the start. Check out the infographic below for 18 tips on how to improve your resume, according to science. Give yourself a better chance of success by applying these principles to your CV next time you’re preparing an application.