If hiring managers only spend 6–7 seconds before deciding whether to continue reviewing your resume, how do you make sure they see the most critical information? How can you know for sure what a good resume looks like?
No more wondering how to build a great resume because we’ve found the answer: rely on a simple resume design that places your key information in the top half of the first page, also known as “above the fold.”
The phrase “above the fold” originated with newspapers, referring to what passersby could see when the papers were folded in half and displayed in a newsstand. Since then, it has been adapted by web designers to mean what users see before scrolling down a webpage.
When it comes to resume writing, “above the fold” refers to the top half of the first page. Including your best information in such a prominent position can help convince employers, recruiters, and HR personnel to continue reviewing the rest of your resume or call you in for an interview. All modern resume design ideas utilize this principle, but the most awesome resume layouts leverage this concept to get hiring managers to “buy in” to your application.
Deciding how to build a great resume for your job search begins with identifying the most critical information related to your skills and experience. Your name, contact information, and target job title should be displayed at the very top of the document so HR personnel can tell at a glance that you are applying for the correct position and know how to get in touch with you.
You should also include a brief summary section that gives a general overview of who you are and your career up to this point. Beneath this is a list of core competencies you hold that are essential to each position you apply for. This simple resume design tactic immediately shows your readers that you are a strong match for their opening.
Once you’ve gotten through this basic information, there are any number of resume design ideas and awesome resume layouts you can use to present your career in the best possible light. There are few real “rules” for resume writing, so you have to ask yourself the following questions to determine the best resume strategy for your situation:
What a good resume looks like depends on an individual’s objective and career history. A great strategy for one job seeker may be ineffective for another. Here are some common situations and tactics to get key information above the fold:
Don’t forget that an effective resume format is, most importantly, easy to skim. Hiring managers frequently have stacks of resumes to sift through, and they just don’t have the time to read every detail of each resume on their first pass. Take this into account and break up your text by incorporating symbols/bullets, allowing for ample white space between sections, and using larger font sizes for your name, prospective job title, and section headers.
For more on how to build a great resume and navigate your job search, check out our other career advice articles. Or, if you’d rather just leave the resume writing to the experts, take a look at iHire’s various resume writing services and find the one that’s right for you.