width=398Writing a resume isn't all that difficult, but reading them is a different story. That's because most resumes lack focus and contain huge boring words. They have a reputation of being pretentious and vague, and no one wants to read them all the way through. Yours won't be the only document on the Hiring Recruiter's desk, so it must look good, be reader friendly, and easy to understand. Most resumes get a 15 second glance before anyone decides to read them further. The writing must be crisp and get the reader's attention.

Here are some tips to get past the 15 second scan:

1. Write a summary or Professional Profile that gives an overview of your experience, talent, knowledge, and special skills. Give the reader a hint of your best stuff right at the top of the résumé.

2. Choose a fine linen paper that photocopies well. You never know how people will be looking at it.

3. Do not fold your resume, but instead use a large white catalog envelope. Folds blot out lines of text, just in case your resume is scanned. Your resume will also look more professional if it's not all folded up.

4. If your paper contains a watermark, be sure the watermark is reading the same direction as the text on the paper. Hold it up to the light. If it's backwards, or upside down, it may be tossed out.

5. Utilize white space and make the formatting nice to look at. Write your profile to match your employer's needs, and show off your strengths.

If you can get your reader past the 15 second scan, your chances increase for a job interview. Make those 15 seconds count!