Make Your Resume Shine with the Top Skills of 2015

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) published the results of their Job Outlook 2015 survey a few months ago that identified the top skills employers are looking for on a candidate’s resume:                             Have all of these skills? Great! Now […]

10 Year-End Reflections to Improve Your Resume

So, how was your 2014? Before marching into 2015 and leaving this year in the dust, I would encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your top achievements and “wow” moments. None of us had a perfect year, and being mindful of where we fell short is important too. Fortunately though, we get […]

9 Common Career Transitions

And the Transferable Skills that Support Them As a resume writer, I frequently work with individuals who have made or are seeking to make significant career changes from one industry to another. Some of the most critical elements of an effective career-changer resume are transferable skills – the experience and qualifications from Career A that […]

Resume Tips for HR Professionals

As an HR professional, it is critical for your resume to emphasize your participation as a true business partner and trusted resource for staff on all levels, not just your function as another administrative arm of a company. Your desire to remain current with employment laws and best practices, thorough understanding of the needs of […]

Healthcare and Medical Resume Writing Tips

When writing resumes for healthcare professionals, it is all about quality, competence, versatility, and compassion. As a Certified Resume Specialist in Healthcare & Medical (CRS+HM), I understand how critical it is to strike the perfect balance between hard and soft skills while still keeping the reader engaged. Specialization in a specific patient population or medical […]

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 […]