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Deciphering the Science Behind Job Searching: Part IV - Objectify, Customize, Condense

Recruiters spend an average of six seconds scanning your resume, hiring managers even less. To ensure that you hook them in, your resume content should display ample means of concrete numbers and very little generic or collaborative terminologies, plus specific action verbs related to the job advertisement and be no more than 1-2 pages.

How you may accomplish all of this is unpacked below with credit given to Kushal Chakrabarti from TalentWorks.

Force An Objective Playing Field [+70% BOOST]

Between the two people below, who would you hire?

"Helped increase sales by 31% by working with Operations Manager to reduce time to 1st customer reply."

"Collaborated with Operations Manager to improve customer reply times."

The first guy, right? It’s just better. But beyond it just sounding far more impressive, there’s actually another effect going on here.

We’ll get back to this in the discrimination section below, but unless your rich uncle owns the company or you’ve somehow got the wink-wink-nudge-nudge connection, it forces a hiring manager to hire you (and reject) others on your (objective) merits. Even if some other applicant does have the rich uncle hook-up, it makes it that much harder for the hiring manager to reject you.

Start Achievements With (Distinct) Action Verbs [+140% BOOST]

If you start the sentence describing what you did with an action verb, you’re off to a strong start. And if you describe the different things that you did at that company with different action verbs, you’ll have finished strong.

Say what? In short, say this:

"Developed a world-positive, high-impact student loan product that didn’t screw over people after 100+ customer interviews."

Not this:

"After 100+ customer interviews, the world-positive, high-impact student loan product was developed by me."

And, finally, last but not least:

Squeeze 475-600 Words Into Your 1-Page Resume [+75% BOOST]

There’s a clear sweet spot for resume length: between 475 and 600 words. Unsurprisingly, this corresponds to a densely-packed single page resume.

Exception: If you’re in teaching, research or social service fields, this explicitly does not apply. We don’t have enough data in these cases to make a quantitative recommendation, but see lots of cases anecdotally where resume extend to 2-3 pages.

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