Print Reading is Dead – Is Your Resume Ready for it’s Screen Test?

It’s been said before – your resume must impress in record time – a matter of seconds. What many don’t realize, however, is that print reading is just about dead.

It will likely NOT get printed out, in fact, until it gets past a 3rd or 4th round of reads.

Today, almost 100% of readers will read your resume on a screen, and the numbers of folks comfortable conducting that initial read on a mobile device or phone is growing by leaps and bounds.

Bottom line? Resumes designed for print do not translate well on the screen—which means you risk the chance key points you need to get across won’t.

The four components below will facilitate a powerful skim read on screens both big and small:

#1 Career Title: Similar to a news headline, a one-line resume career title quickly tells the reader the kinds of roles you seek or your industry expertise.

Customize accordingly to show the reader you are well-suited for a particular type of role.

#2 Branding Paragraph: Skip the generic summary that could describe anyone.

Include instead a brief (four lines max) paragraph that describes strengths unique to you with language from job postings aligned with what the reader is searching for in an ideal candidate.

#3 Bullets v. Blocks: Online readers have a hard time digesting large blocks of text – a challenge that increases as a screen size grows smaller.

Replace paragraphs with one- and two-line bullets that highlight your achievements.

 #4 Front-loaded Bullets: Skip the adjectives, qualifiers and lead-ins. Make sure each bullet leads with the achievement, so it’s the first thing the reader sees.  Here’s an example:

“Saved client $10M via contract negotiations” v. “Led contract negotiations that saved client $10M.”

Passing Your Screen Test

These simple actions will get you the results you need for your resume to pass a screen test and land you that interview or phone screen.

Interested in learning more about getting your career documents ready for an online read?

Check out the Emergency Career Toolkit – a series of 8 short and sweet videos that guide you through creating materials suitable for screens of all sizes.