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If your resume is not winning quality interviews, then consider that what you are sending out is ineffective.

Your resume has approximately 6 seconds to make a lasting impression. 5-4-3-2-1. That’s it! Then it’s either in the trash can or in the “save” folder to call for an interview.

Below are 3 quick questions to see if your resume can pass the 6-second “save or trash” test:

  1. Can your reader read it? If the font is too small and the reader needs reading glasses to see your phone number, do not expect a call.
  2. Did you define yourself? I recommend a header that makes it clear who you are, and how you want to be perceived. (Chief Marketing Officer, Director of Food and Beverage, Entry-Level Public Relations, etc.) If your reader needs to dig to see where you might fit into their organization, they will not bother and your resume is in the trash can.
  3. Have you immediately indicated the value that you have to offer? The profile is one of the most important components of a resume. If yours is filled with generic statements such as “Hard-working individual with 5 years of marketing experience…”, then you are headed for the “NO” pile. Employers want to know what you have to offer them and what you bring to the table. Your profile must be unique and quickly convince your reader that you are an exceptional candidate that brings value to the table.

In 6 seconds or less, can you convince a reader to keep reading? Re-read your resume and ask yourself if your document passes the “save or trash” test.

* Guest post by Michelle Riklan of Riklan Resources, Inc.