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The "Two Minute or Less" Rule

Did you know that your resume has two minutes or less to grab the attention of the HR professional reviewing applications for a position? In fact, nearly 20% of HR professionals invest only 30 seconds per resume.

So how do you write a resume that grabs attention and hopefully an invitation for an interview?

1. Be specific. Whenever possible use metrics, specific accomplishments, and project successes. Don't be vague.

2. Don't use a cookie-cutter template. Creating a custom resume can be time-consuming, but worth the investment. If your resume looks like every other one in the pile, it won't grab attention. However, don't go overboard either. Make sure you keep in mind what kind of position you're applying for and who your audience is.

3. Create a branding statement. A branding statement is located at the top of your resume under your personal contact information. It states your career title, a concentrated description of your contributions to other organizations, and your expectations of making a difference in your future position.

4. Prioritize. Put your most relevant and impressive recent position and accomplishments at the top of your resume. Don't make the HR professional search for your shining career moments.

5. Add a certification/training section. Consider any certifications or training that would make you stand out as a top applicant. The HR professional will see that you bring value to the table and are motivated to increase your skill set and knowledge and expertise in the industry.

6. Be honest. Job hopping, employment gaps, and long-term unemployment can deter an HR professional from considering you for a position. But, lying is even worse. Do not add work to your resume to fill gaps unless you really did it. If you have an area of concern on your resume, be upfront and honest about it in your cover letter. For example, if you took a year off from work to take care of an ailing family member, and are honest about it, and HR professional will look beyond the initial red flag.

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