• Melissa Schafer

Create A Resume That Immediately Grabs Attention!

There is a lot written on how to format a resume and make it work for an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). As a reminder, an ATS system manages the recruiting and hiring process, including culling candidates whose resumes are outside an ATS ready format. (ref 1)

However, not all companies or job boards use ATS systems. For those instances where your resume is presented directly to the job poster, I wanted to make a few suggestions on the content of your resume.

Here are a few points to help you clearly communicate your skills:

  1. Include all relevant data – if you have been at job for many years with continued progression, show it all. Focus the achievements on the last few roles though indicate your longevity with the company.

  2. If you have had several roles, list the company name once and indicate your title and the length of time in each role.

  3. List your achievements vs your job description responsibilities - e.g. how you reduced task time or increased productivity because of your actions.

  4. Emphasis transferable skills - If you are applying to a role different than your current position, talk about how your existing skills will help and fit with this new role.

  5. Ensure your ‘Other Achievements’ mention the level or accomplishment. e.g. member of a club or team – what did you specifically do or language skills – talk about your fluency – professional or casual level

  6. Have a notation at the bottom page with your name and pages (e.g. Jane Doe…/page x of y.) If the resume happens to get printed and pages are separated, this makes it easy to match to the candidate. 

  7. Use 2 pages if you need to flesh out the information. It is hard to evaluate a candidate if relevant information is left out.

  8. Make sure you add your LinkedIn profile URL. (ref 2)

There is a train of thought that resumes may one day become obsolete. Until (if) that happens, ensure you hand over a document that presents you in the best possible way!


  1. https://searchhrsoftware.techtarget.com/definition/applicant-tracking-system-ATS

  2. https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/87/customizing-your-public-profile-url?lang=en

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