Did you hear about resume tests and resume scanners? Yes they do exist.

On an average, a recruiter spends about 6 seconds per resume!

Now pause and think about how your resume can pass this scan.

6 seconds is not a ‘lot’ of time. Come to think of it, just one skim is what your resume will get from a recruiter.

Keep reading to know how to make your CV count.

Your objective is to land an interview call despite the current pandemic situation.

How to make the first 6 seconds count?

Since the day lockdown began, you have probably been applying to many job opportunities.

Yet you have not received any interview calls of late.

In order to ensure that your resume passes the resume scanner test, follow the tips shared below.

Use bullet points and headers

Large paragraphs are never easy to read. So break your thoughts into readable pointers.

Also add headings to segregate sections.

Make all data bits easy to process for the recruiter.

Your goal is to make the resume smart enough to pass an AI-powered Applicant Tracking System or ATS.

To be precise, an ATS reads keywords, bullets and small chunks of data at a time.

So segregate sections on your resume with short points and clear subheadings like 'Job experience', 'Achievements', 'Certifications', 'Skills', and 'Education'.

Optimize space

Your strongest qualifications, relevant job experiences, internships or project training should be present in the first half of page 1.

Mention your latest job role, enlist all acquired skill sets, mention certifications and also important accreditation data.

This front-loaded resume will surely draw the attention of ATS scanners as well as human eyes!

Remove unnecessary information

Adding unnecessary information will only prove to be counter-intuitive.

So skip irrelevant work experiences, school time awards, internships and training certificates.

You can cut the clutter with the help of the below pointers.

• Now that you are a professional, you can omit the high school education bit. (Unless high-school is your highest level of education!)

• Your sports trophy from 10th grade and debate prize from 8th standard will not be of interest to employers anymore. They are only interested in your current qualification.

• Remove all projects, training, internships etc. that are irrelevant to the role.

• Please do not mention social help and NGO activities if they are over 12 months old.

• Kindly keep your hobbies, interests, political leanings, and personal opinions to yourself.

Make your resume a one pager

Your resume should be a one pager or at the max - a two pager.

There is absolutely no reason for your resume to be any longer than that!

Please do not bloat the document out of proportion.

In case you really want to present a long document, invest in professional resume writing services.

Trust us, this decision of yours will surely pay off.

Format well

Format your resume the right way. If you have a creative side, design your resume professionally.

Otherwise stick to a simple and clean format.

• Use an easy-to-read font. Stick with a serif or sans serif font at 12 point font size and 1 point line spacing.

• Avoid handwriting fonts, cursive fonts, and other decorative fonts. Stay away from drop shadows, glow fonts or other font stylizations.

• Avoid images as they distract and consume space.

• Still unsure if your resume can pass a CV scanner? Use a templatised format to pass the resume ATS test.

Remove space wasters

Space wasters are lines that fill up space and communicate very little.

• No need to write a creative objective statement. You can skip it.

• Hiring managers will directly ask you for references, in case they need any. So skip this line too.

• A short professional bio will work fine. Anything beyond that is a strict no-go.

• You are proficient in Microsoft office. But do you seriously need to mention that in your resume? Think again!

You might question yourself, “If the HR has only 6 seconds to read my resume, why should I bother so much?”

Well, the hiring manager will read your resume bit by bit once this document clears the 6-second test.

Hence you have to fix it because it’s now or never!

Pass the skim test to make it into the YES pile!

The 6 second resume test is only the first round of cuts.

If your resume makes it into the ‘yes’ pile, it will get picked up a second time for a detailed scrutiny.

At this stage, actual evaluation of your qualification begins.

Hence, write a resume that passes the ATS and human-eye test and appears in stage 2 for deeper analysis.

Once that’s done, you can find out which industries are actively hiring at present.

And then start applying to jobs you’d love to go to with a spic and span resume.

All the best!

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