As the old saying goes, “You only have one chance to make a good first impression” and this is especially true when submitting your resume for a job opening. Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for one job posting. Due to the sheer volume of resumes, it is important for a recruiter to quickly screen each resume. An experienced recruiter can scan a resume in 20 seconds, and will decide if a resume falls into one of the following three categories:

1. Qualified candidate
2. Good candidate, doesn’t meet requirements for this role, but will keep on file
3. Not qualified

To be considered as a qualified candidate, the resume must reflect at least 75% of the qualifications set forth in the job description. There are, however, a few qualifications that MUST be included in that 75% of criteria to be considered for the interview process. These include:

1. A college degree (If a degree is a requirement for the role, then this will exclude a non-degreed candidate)
2. Minimum years of experience
3. Software requirements
4. Specific industry experience (For example, a “litigation” paralegal role may require “litigation” experience and an experienced paralegal will still not qualify without a litigation background)

If a job seeker is qualified for an open position, it is extremely important to properly display your skill set in an obvious and concise manner on the resume to assist the Recruiter with quickly identifying the resume as a contender for the role. Below are some tips from Jones Networking’s Recruiters and Account Managers to ensure a qualified resume is quickly and easily identified:

1. Use a font that is easy to read such as Times New Roman or Ariel. Font should not be too small. A font of 11 point is ideal
2. Use bullets instead of paragraphs for each job description
3. For each job, include both the month and the year of the date you started and completed each job
4. Include all education, and be clear if a degree was earned (Dates of graduation are not necessary)
5. An ideal resume is one to two pages
6. Include ALL software experience

There are several items that job seekers add to resumes that are no longer necessary. We recommend removing the following items from your resume:

1. “References available upon request.” (It’s obvious and unnecessary to add this line)
2. An ‘Objective’ (We get it, you want the job!)
3. Hobbies or Interests (Volunteer experience only, please)

In addition, prior to saving your final resume draft and submitting to an employer, please do the following:

1. SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK, SPELL CHECK (Words in all capital letters will not be corrected by spell check)
2. Proofread, have someone else proofread it, and then proofread again
3. Save your resume ‘title’ as your first and last name
4. Use a professional email address that includes your first and last name
5. Ensure your telephone number is accepting incoming calls and your voicemail is set up

If you’re reading this as a prospective candidate, please review Jones Networking’s current openings, and if you find a position that matches your background and expertise, please apply online at www.jonesnet.com. We look forward to partnering with you! Current registered candidates are encouraged to contact their assigned Recruiter with any new positions of interest.