How To Make Your Resume Real Estate Sell

Feb 7 2012 in Featured, reCareered Blog, Recruiters by Phil Rosenberg

best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search info

Due to the proliferation of Applicant Tracking Systems, you should expect that the first time your resume is reviewed by a human, it will be reviewed on a screen … not on paper.

Even if you send (or drop off) a paper resume, expect that it will be scanned, so that it can be searchable. This helps the employer pass Department of Labor audits, by demonstrating that interviewees are selected by objective criteria, based on keyword searches.

The assumption that your reader is reading your resume on screen, rather than on paper, has a huge impact on your resume strategy.

Especially when you combine this with the fact that the average Hiring Manager/HR Rep/recruiter makes their interview/non-interview decision in 15 seconds or less, you should see that your reader sees your resume differently on screen than on paper (see

Compare this with traditional resume strategies that we learned when we graduated college/grad school (reinforced by most unemployment counselors, ministry based employment groups, outplacement firms, alumni offices, recruiters … and even most career coaches). Since our college placement office published grad resumes in a book (or e-book), which they sold – they taught us to present our best information on page 1.

… but there’s a problem when we apply this to resumes read on screen in 15 seconds.

Readers who give resumes given a quick scan can’t see the whole first page in just 15 seconds. They see the top 1/2 of your first page (at most, depending on your formatting choices).

We learned a strategy that assumed everything on the first page would be read by our audience.

But when you thrown in the assumptions of reading on screen and a 15 second scan, you only have the top 1/2 of your first page to gain your reader’s attention. Unless you show them you are a superior candidate in the top half of your first page, it won’t matter what follows … because your resume will be in the discard pile and the rest of your resume won’t get read.

Most resumes I review share this challenge – your best stuff is on the bottom half of page 1 … or on page 2.

When you start to think about how your reader perceives your resume, remember that the first decision is based entirely on gut feel (do you expect a detailed analysis in 15 seconds?) … and that gut feel is based on the top half of your first page.

That first decision is whether to scroll down, or instead, move to the next resume.

This has to be the first goal of your resume – to get your reader to press Page Down.

Take a look at your own resume. Does it grab your reader by the collar, demonstrating that you are a superior candidate in the top half of your first page? Does it clearly show the features and benefits of you as an employee (the bullets under your work experience)?

Or is the top of your resume “seller’s fluff, forcing your best stuff further down the page, where it’s not being read?


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin:
Follow reCareered on Linkedin:
Like reCareered on Facebook:
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+:
Follow reCareered on Twitter:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

How Objective Statements Affect Your Personal Brand I'm proud to have been named a weekly columnist of Personal Branding Blog. I will be republishing...
Use Resume Real Estate To Amplify Your Personal Brand What you put on your resume is part of how you brand yourself. But where you place information on...
Why Almost All Employers Use An Applicant Tracking System (Yes, even small employers) It's critical to understand the process employers use to evaluate your...
Job Search Checklist #9: Rethink Your Resume Real Estate Number 9 on your job search checklist - Rethink your resume real estate. Traditional job search...