When it comes to your resume, first impressions really do count. A professional, well written resume is crucial for any written job application.

What do the following things all have in common?

  • Tying a shoelace,
  • Corking a wine bottle
  • Pouring a bowl of cereal

They all take six seconds to complete. You may be thinking “What do these have to do with resume writing?”

Well, six seconds is all the time you have to make a positive impression on a recruiter reading your resume.

What do recruiters look for in a resume?

Here’s what recruiters look for in that six seconds …

They look for your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates. This information is key to making a judgment on whether or not the recruiter can visualise you as their preferred candidate. Therefore it is imperative that all of this information is laid out clear and concisely. If this is not the case and the recruiter is overwhelmed with irrelevant and poorly formatted information, it is likely your application will end up shoved to the bottom of the pile.

We have had clients approach Harvest in the past for resume checking services, with very outdated and unorganised resumes.  One client in particular had not updated her resume for 15 years. This may often be the case for job seekers who have held positions for extended periods of time. It always pays to keep your resume up to date.

Trudy* who had not updated her resume for 15 years,  urgently needed to refresh and reshape her resume in order to appeal to recruiters for a role she had not worked in for over 10 years.

With the competitive landscape of many positions and the larger the pool of candidates, the more likely it is a recruiter will scan through resumes instead of carefully reading over the details content. Under these circumstances it is vital that the resume makes a point early on and punctuates key skills, qualifications and experience directly linked to the role you are applying for.

Having revised her resume, Trudy was one of eight candidates to receive an interview for her second application from a candidate pool of 120 applicants. The feedback given to Trudy on her cover letter and resume was that it was easy to read and allowed recruiters to pick out relevant information quickly. This gave recruiters the confidence that Trudy would be a great candidate for the position.

While not successful in the final stage of interviews, Trudy submitted an application for another role. After not receiving any feedback or an interview offer Trudy proactively contacted the employer to check that they had received it. It had been that case that there were over 200 applicants and the recruiter had not had the chance to complete a check on all of the applications. The recruiter conducted a phone interview on the spot, which landed her a position on their casual employee list.

Harvest Geelong Resume Checklist:

  • Ensure your relevant information / examples / skills are on the first page
  • Make sure you have used short statements and bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs
  • Review to ensure sections are logically ordered with appropriate headings. Page breaks are well placed to split sections.
  • A visually appealing resume is also important with a clear to read layout and design. Use font size 10 – 12.
  • Your resume needs to be two pages, three at most or in line with the employer’s requested length
  • Use language and tone appropriate to the position / industry and reflective of the advertisement
  • Check syntax, spelling, grammar and punctuation is correct
  • Don’t use abbreviations or unexplained acronyms
  • Provide credible examples of skills and experiences

And, importantly, make sure your Resume and application letter have been proof read by a third party!

If you need assistance to personalise and tailor a professional resume and application letter, please contact Careers for assistance so you can make a positive and professional first impression.

Visit Harvest Careers for more information. 


*not candidates real name

Join our mailing list

Get tips like this delivered straight to your inbox. We promise we don’t spam!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.