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Five Seconds Series – Part II

Really?  Only Five Seconds to Catch Someone’s Attention?

You bet!


Anyone who has hired or recruited more than a few times will tell you that they almost instantly know from one quick look, whether a resume is worth reading or not.

This is Part II in a series about things to avoid and ways to layout your resume that will paint the most accurate impression of you.  These tips will help you avoid rejection and what I call “red flags” that cause the reader to stop reading your resume.

Dude sitting on laptop

Part II – What are you?


One of the first things I look for at the top of a resume is the title or titles that describe the individual.When I can’t easily see this, I often set the resume aside.

Make it easy on the reader and don’t make us read every line to figure out what you are and what you jobs you’re targeting. One of the easiest ways to do this is to write your title in bold in the opening paragraph.  Like this:


An energetic, highly organized and efficient Administrative Assistant with a solid history of completing administrative tasks quickly, accurately, and on a timely basis within a variety of industries.  A fluently bilingual and excellent communicator with an ability to connect with individuals at all levels, engendering trust, confidence and respect. Easily adapts to new environments.


Right away, within a second or two, a context is set and the reader knows what they will be reading about. Then the rest of the document will be interpreted within this context and all achievements support this role.

It sets the scene.

For example, using the above title of Administrative Assistant, every achievement written in the document will highlight the essential skills for that role.  When you describe what you accomplished, it will be read with Administrative Assistant in mind.  This is highly effective because it makes your resume easy to read, increasing your chances of a call because we like people who make things easier on us. :)


Another easy and  effective solution is to use a banner at the top of the first page.  This is helpful if you have different roles or levels of role you are targeting.  These are professional looking ways to tell the reader what you are targeting:


Sales / Sales and Marketing / Business Development




Administrative and Operations Support / Administrative Assistant




Director or Vice President Sales and Marketing


 Happy resume writing!



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