Your Resume’s “Prime Real Estate”

What to include in this critical area of your resume and why

As mentioned in Resume Red Flags and Gaps in Your Resume, the top half of the first page of your resume is commonly referred to as the “prime real estate.” You’ve likely heard that hiring managers spend 10 seconds or so skimming a resume before deciding “yes” or “no” for an interview. As cruel as that may seem considering how much effort job seekers put into their resumes, it is critical to remember that hiring managers often have stacks and stacks to review for just one open position.

There is a way to make their jobs easier and increase your chances of landing in the “yes” pile – pay close attention to what you have in the prime real estate. Be sure to include the following elements:

  • Contact information
  • Target job title
  • Summary
  • Key skills/core competencies
  • Job-critical credentials including licenses and certifications
  • Your top 3 to 5 career achievements (if a hybrid resume format suits your career and current objective)
  • At least part of your career history (if your most recent role is relevant to the position you are applying to)
  • Education (if you are a recent graduate)

Print off your resume and fold it in half. If the bottom half disappeared, would an employer have enough compelling data to make an informed decision about your candidacy? This doesn’t necessarily mean that the remainder of your resume will be ignored, however the content of your prime real estate will make a difference in whether it is read at all.

Design Ideas for Resume Core Competencies

Effective ways to display your key skills We have covered the importance of resume core competencies in past posts, and you likely understand by now how application tracking systems (ATS) work and how prevalently they are used by employers. While it is critical to know what to include in this section of your resume, it […]

Resume Writing Tips for Accounting Professionals

Guest Blog by Freddie Rohner, CARW, CRS + AF Resume Writer, As a Certified Resume Specialist in Accounting and Finance (CRS + AF), I write a lot of resumes for “numbers people.” The best thing about working with clients in the accounting field is that there are a lot of opportunities available at any […]

Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

Are they ever relevant? Most lists of “Resume Don’ts” include hobbies or interests, advising you to leave those off of your resume and save them for the interview, ONLY if appropriate. Scrapbooking, bird watching, or jigsaw puzzles, for example, are activities that will most likely not help you land an interview and therefore do not […]

Resume Core Competencies by Industry

Natalie Urquhart Connect on Google+ Specific key skills to include in your resume Core competencies and key skills sections are hot topics among today’s discussions about resumes. In fact, “core competencies,” “ key competencies,” “area of expertise,” “core qualifications,” and “key skills” are among the top search engine terms that land job seekers on my […]

Avoiding Repetitive Content in Your Resume

Be creative and use a wide vocabulary to keep the reader’s attention. It can be difficult to avoid utilizing the same action words over and over again in your resume (especially if you have held similar roles throughout your career) however, with just a little extra effort and creativity, you can add variety to your […]

New Graduate Resumes

Tips for showcasing your unique qualifications as an entry-level candidate. As a recent graduate, being a student has essentially been your full-time job for the past few years. This does not mean you have “no experience.” Internships, volunteer roles, major class projects, and other unpaid efforts all contribute to your experience and knowledge and can […]

Resume Red Flags

Strategies for Downplaying Your Unavoidable “Red Flags” There are critical mistakes you can avoid on your resume, however not all “red flags” are completely avoidable. Some of these stem from your career timeline – history that you cannot change. There are specific strategies you can use to help downplay these issues and emphasize what you […]

Tailoring Your Resume for Specific Industries

Using your career objective and target audience to drive the content, strategy, and format of your resume. Targeting positions in a variety of industries is a great way to increase your chances of landing a job. Flexibility is essential in an employers’ market, especially if you have transferable skills to offer. However, while the job seeker […]

Section Series, Part 2: The Core Competencies Section

The Key to Keywords Everyone’s heard of the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that nearly all employers are using to filter through the piles and piles of resumes they receive, however, not all job seekers know how to use this technology to their advantage. If you’ve ever applied to a position that you are well qualified […]