It’s all about the top 1/3
Recruiters, Hiring Managers, and HR professionals have very short
attention spans and don’t spend a lot of time reading the résumé.
This is why it’s more important than ever to have a résumé that grabs their attention in only a few seconds. Like, I’m talking 6 seconds or less.
Since the human reader typically scans a document from the top down, the top of the page is the most important part, specifically the top 1/3.
If you can instantly communicate what you have to offer in the first third of the résumé, the reader will be more likely to continue reading, provided the rest of the document is written effectively (which is a whole other topic).
Alternatively, if you don’t generate interest on the top 1/3, the reader won’t be as “invested” in reading the entire document and might decide to move on to the next better résumé.
How do you grab the hiring manager’s attention in a few seconds?You create a knock-out headline. I’ve talked about this for Linkedin profiles.
For the purposes of this article, I’m NOT referring to the target job title (i.e. the specific title of the job you are sending your résumé for) which I’m assuming you are including in your résumé.
What I’m referring to is one line that’s located in the top 1/3 of the résumé, located above the professional profile. It’s a phrase or a series of words that convey what your value is.
If you have shown a target job title, the headline would be something in addition to that although you could combine the target job title with the headline so you’re using up only one line and not two.
The whole point with the résumé headline is to motivate the reader to continue reading, similar to a newspaper or magazine headline.