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Resumes That Attract Attention

Your resume is your 30-second commercial that could make or break your sale to a potential employer. In that 30 seconds or less, it is important that your resume stands out and catches the attention of the reader. There are many different styles of resumes that fit different professions; therefore, it is important to know which style will work best for you while remembering some universal tips that will help you get in the door.

From the beginning, you want to research what qualities the hiring manager is looking for in a potential employee; don’t assume that your work history alone will prove your qualifications for the job. To increase your chances of hearing from a potential employer, take time to create a targeted resume that speaks to the opportunity. The language in your resume may also help attract attention. In fact, some companies try to match specific terms from the description to words on the resume when searching electronic databases for applicants. Therefore, inserting these words may increase the chances of your resume being viewed. Even if you haven’t added your resume to an online database, many employers keep a database of their own of resumes they’ve collected. As in many situations, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, therefore you will also need to be cautious to avoid using excessive industry jargon. While you may want a hiring manager to know that you speak the "language" of the business, often your resume may first be viewed by a member of human resources who may not be as well-versed in the terminology. Your information should be crafted in such a way that anyone -- inside or outside your field of expertise -- can understand and appreciate your achievements.

Formatting is also very important when deciding the type of resume that fits you, and can affect the readability of your resume. The majority of employers prefer experience to be listed in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job first. You want to convey a well-organised account of your career history, clearly showing how you have progressed. Listing only you’re most relevant or important jobs will help shorten your resume. A common rule is to keep your resume within two pages in length. Your achievements at each position throughout your career history should be concise, using action verbs to describe what you’ve accomplished and avoid ‘I’ statements. Dense paragraphs of information are not as reader-friendly as brief examples.

For a more executive resume, you can organise achievements under headings, such as "strategy," "team leadership," "operations," "business relations" and "key results." Under each heading, provide bulleted, results-oriented descriptions that require no more than a single line. Additionally, be sure to keep the same tone in your writing throughout the resume.

When submitting your resume electronically, basic formatting should be used to avoid scrambling when emailing. Align all text with the left margin and eliminate indentations and other formatting, such as boldface, italic or underlined type. Consider replacing bullets with asterisks or simple dashes, both of which are compatible with all systems. Try e-mailing it to yourself or a friend to see how well it transmits. You can then make adjustments as necessary.

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