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How Your Resume Can Quickly Grab a Hiring Manager’s Attention

As you look for a new job, it’s important to ensure your resume is capturing the attention of the right people in the right way. Research shows that hiring managers only spend an average of 6 seconds looking at a resume. While that’s hardly encouraging, there are specific ways you can ensure they take pause on your resume.

Utilise a Career Summary

Rather than jumping right into your professional experience, you can give the reader context of how your past experience qualifies you for your future position. Using a career summary can help give a quick background of your work by showing the titles you’ve held, the companies you’ve worked for, and accomplishments you’ve garnered throughout your career.

A career summary is also a great tool if your current position isn’t your most relevant for the jobs you’re applying for. If you’d like to showcase older positions without them getting lost on the last page of your resume, a career summary will allow the reader to see your value without having to search for it.

Here’s an example of what a career summary can look like:

Use Bullet Points & Bolding

Blocks of text can be a big turnoff for hiring managers. They want to be able to quickly scan a document and get a sense of its pertinent information right away. If your important information is buried in paragraphs of text, there’s a strong chance you’ll be placed in the “no” pile.

To mitigate this risk, using to-the-point bullets can help readers get an idea of how you’ve contributed to your past work. You really need to present bite-sized chunks of your value to the reader. Keeping bullets to no more than 2 lines will also reduce information overload. Bolding important data can also help bring clarity to what you’re saying.

For instance:

On your resume, white space is your friend. A resume writer’s trick is to zoom the document out to 50-75% and then blur the eyes a little bit. Does the page have blocks of text that take up a lot of space and is overwhelming to the eye? Or is there a good amount of white (blank) space that breaks up the document into easy-to-digest sections? Utilising white space will help your resume feel balanced and ease on the eye.

 Incorporate Formatting Functions

Another great way to utilise white space and create digestible sections is to include shading, borders, and graphics into your resume. Each of these components easily showcases sections and draws the reader’s eye to the important information.


Charts, graphs, and arrows are an excellent way to make your resume stand out to a reader. Showcasing how you grew sales, drove efficiencies, or reduced costs can all be relayed through the use of a graphic. Using a line graph to show growth or a chart to show budget allocations can help give a visual representation of the work you’ve done.

Shading & Borders

Adding paragraph shading can help you differentiate various components within your resume. Whether adding a light shade to the line in which you have your company and position listed or to highlight your core competencies, it will help break up the page in an easy-to-the-eye way.

Borders are another excellent way to break up pages and sections. Adding a paragraph border on the top and/or bottom of your section headings (Professional Experience, Education, etc.) helps add white space while also giving a clear focus to what the reader is looking at.

 With 6 seconds to make an impression, it’s important to understand the design functions of a resume. Without them, you may get lost in the crowd. Use these tips to make sure your resume stands a cut above the rest.

Need help? At Total Resumes, we create brand-driven, achievement-focused documents for clients worldwide. With a 98% client interview-winning success rate, we are well-placed to help with your career advancement. Check some of our work here:

Author Carolyn Whitfield

6X TORI-Winning, Multi-Certified Resume Master & Coach ★ 12+ Yrs Expertise ★ 98% Client Interview-Winning Success Rate. As an executive resume expert who has carved a strong reputation in the resume industry, I’ve helped thousands of rising stars and executives worldwide ascend to the next step on the career ladder.

More posts by Carolyn Whitfield

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