The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. (Mark Twain)
12 words is the most that people will read on a billboard.
(That was 12 words.)
1 ½ or 2 inches of print
is what most people read
at a glance.
12 to 15 seconds is all the time a resume normally gets in a screener’s hands before it is trashed or put in the “review” pile.
3 critical words can make or break your resume.
How to get your point across in a resume
Worry about the first 3 words people read in every paragraph and bullet point. Those are the critical words that have to drag the resume reviewer into the rest of the line. Think of the hiring manager. What action, accomplishment or benefit can he see in the first 3 words?
Can’t do it? Get a thesaurus, or use the one in your word processor. Find the main word in that paragraph, find a high impact word to replace it with, and put that word in the first 3 words of the paragraph. In most cases it is better to break any paragraph over 3 lines long into bullet points. Long paragraphs are intimidating. Reviewers don’t want to read them. Make sure you worry about the first 3 words in every bullet point.
3 words can make or break your job search. Work on them.
Here is the real trick to having a great resume
Take an electronic copy of your resume and delete everything except for the first 3 words of each paragraph or bullet point. Leave the spacing and formatting the same. There will be a lot of white space and blank lines. Print it out. Put it face down on your desk.
Come back tomorrow and look at the skeleton you created. What is its impact? Fix it.