5 Elements of a Simple & Effective Resume (Template Included!)
Let’s be real here. Hiring managers don’t have the time to read every last word in your resume. So, it’s important to design your resume so that you provide managers the most important information they are looking for, which, coincidentally, is also the most important information that you want to present about yourself.
With that said, having been on both sides (manager and candidate) — I found that the most important information managers are looking for are (in this order):
1. Current Job Relevance
2. Education Level
3. Length of History
4. Length and Layout
5. Contact Information (Name, Phone Number, Email)
These 5 elements are what managers usually care and look for in your resume. You have their attention for about 10 seconds (and I’m rounding up) — before giving it the boot (A.K.A dumping it in the trash.) As unbelievable as this is, I have given candidate resumes to several hiring managers in the past decade. And without fail, if any of the above information is not quickly seen or present, it would be disposed of in less than 10 seconds.
If you can please the manager, he will continue to read — that’s the biggest secret!
Current Job Relevance — If the manager doesn’t see your current/previous role and title quickly, it’s likely a boot. If you are applying for a Mobile Developer position and your most previous position’s title isn’t clear — you’ve made it all too easy for the manager. I’ve heard “What did this person actually do? It says Data Engineer, but why are they applying for a Mobile Developer position” as the manager proceeded to throw the resume in the garbage. Harsh, but true.
Education Level — Managers definitely are looking for a range of degrees. It’s likely that you are applying with this in mind already, so might as well display it — front and center! Nothing to hide if you have a Bachelors in Computer Science when applying for a Software Development or Engineering role.
Length of History — Managers also have an expected length of history in mind, but they are usually flexible. So it’s important that you are transparent about this — it’s likely they will call you in for the interview even if you are a year or two short!
Length and Layout — Do not make the resume more than 2 pages. Unless you are applying for a COO role, managers do not want to see every single project you worked on. Yes, that means — get rid of that project you were proud of from the internship during college … 5 years ago. Definitely mention it in the interview, but your resume is not the place for it. It’s important to remember you have less than 10 seconds.
Contact Information —Lastly, make sure your name, phone number and email address are visible. You don’t want to have the manager looking for these. This is definitely important to have.
This all may seem daunting — but not to worry! You need not be an amazing designer to draft a top-notch resume. Actually, you don’t even need to be a designer at all!
Google Docs has several resume templates that can get you a jump start! But, not all of them come out-of-the-box solving the 10-second-resume-into-the-garbage problem presented above.
So I took the liberty to create a specific template, just to point out how easy it is to highlight all of the 5 elements — obviously modifying an existing Google Doc template.
In less than half of a page, you covered all of the important details the manager needs to know.
- your current job
- your education
- your length of history
- your contact info
The manager can now be satisfied — since all of the information is presented to him in less than half a page and within the confines of the 10 second limit. If you can please the manager, he will continue to read — that’s the biggest secret!
What’s that? We missed one? Yes, yes we did — Length and layout.
And with that, this template covers all 5 parts. Never make your resume more than 2 pages (unless you’re applying for that COO position or a job that requires that level of detail.) A quick flip over is all the manager needs — to find out if he will call you in for an interview.
And once you land the interview, you can talk about that college internship project that you were proud of from 5 years ago, to your heart’s content. That passion will only help you get the job! Happy job hunting!
And remember, you have less than 10 seconds. No pressure!