Friday, January 30, 2015

3-second chance: How to make a "Powerful Resume" for Starters

In the advent of new technology, online recruitment has become the number one trend in finding qualified candidates. This is also what I do to march apace with technology. Indeed, applicants are crowding in. I am receiving e-resumes at the rate of 10-20 per day and it doubles when our company has a vacancy. It is imperative that I have to filter fast so I can fill my vacancy within my lead time.

I have been in Human Resources handling mainly recruitment activities for more than seven (7) years now and I can strongly say that it is really difficult to filter applicants. Due to the demand of the company to hire immediately and to waste no time to deploy new hires, I have learned over the years how to effectively filter applicants, spending as little time as possible in going through the resumes, by just looking at the curriculum vitae submitted to me.

My usual applicants are fresh college graduates and 1-3 years experienced applicants. And it really disappoints me to read crappy resumes because of the way applicants present themselves. 

This is why I practice a 3-second rule in going through these resumes. If they fail to impress on my first glance, then that resume will either be buried in my archive or will just simply be deleted. I have no time to waste.

So, I came up with this list of No-Nos and VERY BASIC guidelines for applicants to follow in order to be noticed by recruiters like myself. Just a warning though, this is not scholarly nor based on statistical or in-depth studies. This is simply what works for me and might be the reasons why until now you are not landing that dream job.

Do not submit your resume without accompanying your latest picture (preferably a close-up one). Put a face in the name so to speak. But remember that in accompanying your photo, recruiters create initial impression of you so be damn sure that your photo is professional-looking. Do not place a "selfie" or a photo with your friends and a photo of you in a party or even an old photo. Give your recruiter an idea that you are a no-nonsense applicant by just looking at your image. It matters, believe me.


Maybe to you, it looks good but using comic sans or monotype corsiva fonts in your resume just doesn't work for me. It is too informal. You are not writing a poetry or a novel nor writing a love letter. You are applying for a job that can actually buy you food, other necessities and all that. Use Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma, or Helvetica because they all look formal. For the font size, do not use 10 or less nor 13 or more..pretty please?


Make sure that your contact information are correct. There were instances when applicants failed to reach an initial interview because they could not be contacted through their phones. You do not expect recruiter to visit you at home for an interview invitation, do you? 

Also, make sure you use a formal email address in submitting your resume. Never use email addresses like or Come on. Instead, use an email using your name so it will also be easier for recruiters to recall your name. Example: or This is simpler and more formal.


Present your experiences in chronological order preferably from your latest job down to the oldest with a brief job description each or better yet, your job performance highlights in that particular employment. This is easier for recruiter to identify your employment experience timeline and your specific potential or capacities. 

If you have long gaps in between jobs or if you seem to be job-hopping, add a short explanation. If your experiences are material, the recruiter will likely to call you for an interview and then you can further elaborate. Although it is really a hack to hide the gaps in your employment, it will only confuse recruiters and may reduce your chance of an interview.

If you have no professional experience yet (fresh graduates), present your internship experiences and even your affiliations during college. It is not much but it will suggest to the recruiter that you were active in school and that can actually help you back up your skills and capabilities come interview time.


That's right. You can't impress me even if you state in your resume that you are hardworking, easy to deal with, friendly, trainable,organized, etc even if it's in fact true. Although these are equally important, these are intangible things that the recruiter could not really assess nor confirm during the interview so don't bother putting them in your CV. You will just crowd you resume with this useless piece of information. Prove these qualities when you are hired.

BUT listing your skills or proficiencies can really help. Some examples are: Computer-literate; knows how to drive, knows video-editing, knowledgeable in Adobe Photoshop or can operate audio-visual equipment, etc. These are more concrete and can be verified. Make sure also to list skills that can be of use for the job you are applying for. If you are applying for an Accounting job, your skill in carpentry can't be of use can it? I'm just sayin'.

Other basic information that you can include are: Personal Profile, Trainings and Seminars, and Character References.

Just remember that at the end of the day, it's your future and career we are talking about. So be very mindful of how you showcase yourselves.

Here is an additional helpful tips for you courtesy of DUQ University Career Services.