How to improve your first impression when applying for a role

How to improve your first impression when applying for a role

Most recruiters won’t spend more than 6 seconds per page when going through applications. That certainly doesn’t give you long to stand out in the crowd. Your resume is a time to highlight your profile and achievements and be confident, so don’t be modest if you want to stand out.

No more than 3 or 4 pages (less is more)

As stated above, 6 seconds per page is the average time spent on each page. We want to see the most recent and relevant work experience and achievements. Your first page is where you grab the attention of the reader.


A can of worms comes along with this since LinkedIn it has become more widely accepted. It isn’t a make or break by all means, but it is always good to put a face to a name.

Reverse chronological job order

You’d be surprised, but some don’t do it. We need to see your most current job at the top of the list, it’s easy. As above we don’t want to see that you were working in the fish and chip shop at 16 at the top.

Describe the company

When you go into your work experience make sure before you start writing your responsibilities and achievements that you add context by describing the company and where you worked in it. It can be confusing when it just states “XYZ Company” and no one has heard of it and we don’t know size, industry, location etc, this helps you build your profile.


This is the best way to highlight that you are, well, the best. Letting us know how you helped save the business is a great way to stand out; layout is key when writing them down, making sure you can quantify the achievement and that it makes sense to others. Keep it sharp and concise; this isn’t a time to write a story.

Simple Layout

A messy resume can cost you your dream job; a simple font and no larger than 14 font size and no smaller than 10 will do fine, no fancy type of font that you can barely read. This is a professional document that is a summary of your career.

A career summary

4-6 lines of what you have done with your career, to the point and concise. The first page is the most important as it amplifies your chances of being seen; you need to grab the recruiter’s attention from the start.


Ensure you have a clear and concise description of your academic achievements including the institution, course with dates and grades (if they are good including key prizes and awards). This section can appear at the beginning or at the end of the cv.

Use keywords

Find the keywords used in the job description and slot them in your resume; as technology is improving and better recruiters are able to search the buzz words into their database and those who have the words come up, you don’t want to lose your chance of your dream job, do you? Don’t overdo this though.

In summary, a well worded concise resume that explains your experience, education and the context of your role in the wider organisation and that shows your value through your skills and acheievements will give you the best opportunity to stand out.

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