National survey of 600 hiring managers and human resources personnel conducted says employers spend 20 seconds to decide your fate based on what they gather from your resume. A resume is nothing more than a stylish piece of advertisement in which employers decide your fate based on.

Here are some of those findings:

  1. Always have a Summary of Qualifications. To many hiring managers, the most important part of your resume is your Summary of Qualifications section. This section usually consists of 4-6 sentences that present an overview of your experience, talents, skills and work habits, and is a highly influential summation of what you bring to the job.
  2. Demonstrate results. Employers in the survey said vague, general resumes don’t cut it. Use the “action = results” formula to create a high-impact tool. This is the specific formula where you show what was achieved in past jobs, especially bottom line contributions like saving time or money.
  3. One page works best. Since most resumes are only allotted a 15-20 second review, don’t waste precious seconds by using too many pages. You forget there’s a cover letter to look at too, so consolidate your top abilities into one page. Be sure to emphasize the last 5 to 7 years, which most interest employers.
  4. Target each resume to the job title sought. “Job hunters send resumes in with no idea about the position.” Target each resume to the job title sought. Even if you qualify for several different positions, it’s better to create a different resume for each job, incorporating only the information pertinent to doing that specific job.
  5. Format matters. Your resume must catch the reader’s eye. One that is visually appealing suggests your professionalism. Do not use micro-size type, and be sure to allow for lots of white space and borders. Make use of italicizing, CAPITALS, underlining, bolding, indentations, and bullets to emphasize important points.
  6. Avoid spelling mistakes. Many HR person said: “I stop reading when I find spelling mistakes.” Perfection is a necessity. Don’t trust computer spell checkers. Don’t use “I” in your resume. Instead, start each sentence with an action verb. Descriptive action verbs – such as established, analyzed, implemented, created, streamlined, organized – add power to your sentences. And don’t include personal information about marital status, gender, height, weight, or health since it’s an outdated style and violates discrimination laws.