[IvyExec] How To Write Your Resume When the Reader Has a 4-Second Attention Span

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On this subject, here is an article about attention span: The hunch is now official – our attention spans have grown tangibly shorter – four seconds in fact – according to a recent Microsoft study. In a world with 140-character limits on sites like Twitter, people reading on five-inch handheld devices and multimedia pushed to us everywhere we look – it’s no wonder our attentions are easily diverted.

The Impact of Short Attention Spans on Your Job Hunt

Our current eight-second attention span means the career documents that worked for you as recently as five years ago today might not even get a second look. To differentiate yourself from the competition – your resumes, cover letters and Linked in profile must move from long to lean.

Below are critical steps to help you stand out in today’s world filled with competing attention:

  1. Edit, Edit, Edit

 If you can say it in fewer words…do it. Cut out extraneous words like “a,” “the” and “that.”

More importantly, strive to keep your key accomplishments to two lines max to optimize your appeal to readers reading on the big as well as small screen.

  1. The So What? Litmus Test

Take a hard look at what you’ve written. If anything can’t answer a “so what?” question sure to be posed by a reader, go back to the drawing board.

Each and every achievement must add value to your story AND align with your career aspirations.

  1. Measure & Quantify

Numbers speak volumes – and in many cases much louder than words.

While it is no doubt easiest for those in sales to drum up numbers to back up their accomplishments, the truth is that numbers are attainable in every field.

Everyone can quantify their achievements…it’s just a matter of evaluation and measurement.

To calculate your bottom line impact, ask yourself if you saved time, money or manpower in any way, or if you contributed to greater growth or efficiency.

The goal is to make a connection between your efforts and dollars.

  1. From Blueprint to Brochure

To differentiate yourself from the competition – your resumes, cover letters and Linked in profile must transition from blueprint to brochure.

This means a mindset shift from content that serves as marketing material versus a laundry list of everything you have ever done in your career.

Keeping it short, sweet and rich with results-oriented, measurable achievements that quickly show bottom-line impact is key to getting your foot in the door and differentiating yourself from the competition.

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