Whitepaper: Ten Second Resume 

Most of us often wonder why we never get a call from Companies/ HR Consultants often after preparing a great resume. We often take it in stride and assume that economic scenario is down and good jobs are difficult to come by.

What we don’t often appreciate is that

  1. HR consultants have hundreds of resume at their disposal and do not have more than Ten seconds to flip through one resume.
  2. Our resume is based on our perspective or the way we see things. It does not reflect an HR consultant’s perspective. It has a mix of multiple things all meshed into one while a HR person would look out for a resume which has experiences and academic qualifications weaved beautifully as a story with focus on specific skills.
  3. Most of the resumes focus on roles and responsibilities rather than achievements in job profile. They usually lose focus of “BIG PICTURE” and do not show the contribution made by employee.

Here are five fundamentals to help you shine:

1.       Make your career objective “employer-centric.”

Tell an employer what you can do for THEM. Telling them that you’re looking for a career to “build your editing skills and leverage your interest in journalism” has little to do with what’s in it for THEM to hire you. They will be paying you. They want performance, and your career objective should make them feel good about what you’ll “offer,” not gain.

2.       Talk results.

In the body of the document, clearly spell out what you’ve achieved. Don’t get caught up writing multiple sentences about how you increased the membership of the local Habitat for Humanity chapter by 24%. Stick to impressive high level “metrics” that will show them you’re an impact player. When possible, use statistics to support your points.

3.       Lead with action words.

Tell them about when you “Grew,” “Built,” “Leveraged,” “Increased,” “Drove,” or “Led” something. Leading bullets with action words will reinforce that you get things done and weren’t just a “warm body” in previous roles.

4.       Be a quick read.

A recruiter will quickly skim your resume. If the document is wall-to-wall type, they won’t know where to look and will probably move on quickly to the next resume.

By leaving white space on the page (by being efficient in your wording and keeping things high-level), you’ll allow them to more quickly see the key titles you’ve held, your accomplishments, and what makes you special. Remember — less is more.

5.       Get a little creative in terms of format.

Always be professional, but navy ink on cream paper or a different font than Times New Roman might draw a bit more attention to your resume, particularly for a job that requires some creativity. Don’t go overboard here. Stay professional.

A beautiful resume is not a substitute for a “weak” track record and education. However, a well-built resume will help you best market yourself to a potential employer. Be benefit focused (what’s in it for them) and action oriented in your choice of wording.


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Nitin Mittal is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM). He is a professional resume development expert with more than 12 years of experience. He can be reached at nitin@careerbreeder.com and his contact no. is +91- 9987441166

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