A resume is often the first introduction an employer may have to your brand. It is how recruiters understand your professional story and your skills. You may be thinking, “Well, what about networking?  Everyone tells me how important it is to network and how it will lead to job opportunities." 

Yes, it is true that networking will lead to job opportunities before a position is ever posted on a company’s website. However, before you can receive a job offer through networking, they will want to see your resume. My point? No matter how much you network, someone along the line will ask to see your resume. Your resume serves as a checkpoint for your candidacy. It helps confirm that you are who you say you are. Some people know how to sell themselves but lack the actual work ethic and outcomes. Resumes should display your work ethic in action, your innovation and measurable success. According to Business Insider, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing resumes before deciding if you’re aligned to the role and worth a phone interview. If you only have six seconds, use these tips to ensure you’re getting the call.

1. Keep your resume to ONE page

I know you have so many amazing experiences that you want to share on your resume. Keep the experiences that are most relevant to the jobs that you’re applying to. Employers don’t care that you worked at a theater camp your sophomore year of college when you have five years of actual work experience to consider. If you only have six seconds, consider what experiences your potential new employer MUST know about you. What work experiences and outcomes are impressive and/or unique? Remember being concise and detail-oriented are skills that appeal to all employers. Read your resume out loud as if it is a story. Do you walk away with a clear picture of your professional journey?

2. Use numbers to show measurable success 

“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” – Jay Z.  

Now when Beyonce’s partner and father of the The Twins said this, we applauded because we knew he wasn’t like every rapper just being braggadocio. We understood that he sold millions of records, is a part owner in the Barclays Center and part owner of Tidal. Numbers and facts are impressive on any resume. Recruiters care about how you were able to support your company in growing. They look for the outcomes of the work you’re doing. For example, what was the end result of the partnerships you’ve managed? Did it increase sales for your company? The worst thing you can do is make your resume an exact replication of the position’s job description. Recruiters need to know the results of your work and that is where the numbers never lie.  

3. Presentation Matters: Simple font, no pictures, paragraphs or spelling errors

Take a minute to think about how you like to receive directions.  Would you rather receive a paragraph full of directions or bullet points? Is it helpful when people bold the most important information in an email? Yes, it is. Keep your resume formatting simple and use bullet points to convey your successes and responsibilities. Errors in your resume can make you seem incompetent and unorganized; therefore, send your resume to a friend or family member who tends to take pride in their work to look for errors. The only acceptable place for a “paragraph” on your resume is in the summary statement. Recruiters may not look longer than six seconds if they see long paragraphs, thick font, and spelling errors. For every role listed on your resume, only list four to five bullets describing the experience.

4. Skip the references

If you perform well in your interview, the employer will ask for your references. Until then, let employers focus on your actual experience. It's perfectly fine to write "references available upon request" on your resume. 

5.Tenure at organizations 

Recruiters care how long you’ve been at your current company and past companies. If you’ve hopped around every year recruiters will speculate on the following: 

The companies you worked for were unstable.

You are not easy to work with.

Your work ethic and skills are not lit. 

Either way, it leaves room for speculation. Bottom line: Recruiters don’t know if you’re loyal or just an opportunist. If you’re doing consulting for a number of companies I advise you to note this on your resume. No one wants to hire someone who will leave in a year. It takes time to onboard someone to a role and for that person to become great at their job; therefore, if you’ve job hopped like most millennials, have a thorough explanation as to why.

Your resume won’t get you the job, but it may get you to the door for the interview. You should take pride in your resume and LinkedIn page. It serves as your voice beyond a referral from a friend or your flashy website. If you’re worried you don’t have any accomplishments to write on your resume, ask your manager what you’ve brought to the table and keep a success journal to track your wins while on the job.  Here’s to more keys to success.They don’t want you to have the secrets to a great resume so we gonna give you all the keys for great resumes.