When I pick up my email messages on my phone, I open and answer the short messages. I save the long ones for later, when I have time. Who has time for long messages? Nobody! The same attitude applies to resume reading. At some point, your resume will most likely be read on a small screen, such as a smart phone or tablet. The time is condensed relative to the size of the screen. As the screen gets smaller, the attention given to your resume also decreases.
Keep it Concise
When you are up against 315 applicants for a single opening, your resume must be sharp and concise. That’s a given. Brevity is even more important when the reader is scanning your resume on-the-go, between meetings, or while in line at the market. You are competing with all the distractions surrounding the reader as they quickly try to get through just a few more emails while they have a “spare” moment. The secret is to keep it concise. Pack a powerful punch in just a few words.
Readability Is King on a Small Screen
Reading a document on a small screen is challenging at times. Because of light variances and the smaller size, the quality is lower on a small screen. Therefore, people scan or speed read text on a screen instead of reading it more thoroughly. Create your resume with a small screen in mind. Use large headings, short overview paragraphs, and bullet points to guide the reader through your document quickly.
Please High Value Info at the Top
In many cases, the reader will make a split-second decision on your candidacy based on the first glance. On most small screens, that is the top quarter or top third of the page of your resume. Place your most relevant skills at the top portion of your resume. The reader will get a snapshot of who you are and the value you offer. It is important that the reader immediately recognize that you are a potential candidate so they are motivated to keep reading.
User experience is important when designing your resume. Keep these three tips in mind when making decisions about the format and content for your next resume. If you have questions about writing a resume or a cover letter, contact me. Would you like to read more tips? Check out the following blog entries.