En Route: A Career Blog

The Most Important Thing on Your Resume

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: December 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

Think it’s your knowledge, skills, abilities? Believe it’s your solid, quantified accomplishments? Know it’s your steady rise through the ranks from an entry-level to a senior position?

While all of these are key to a great resume, the single most important thing you can list is what you can do for an employer.

Improving a Company’s Bottom Line is Critical

That’s right. That’s what hiring managers and recruiters want to see. And they demand that it be up front in the opening summary.

In these tough economic times, with dozens or hundreds of equally qualified candidates vying for the same position, the hiring manager or recruiter will allow no more than 7 seconds to scan a candidate’s resume before moving on.

7 seconds. Not a lot of time.

Does Your Resume Pass the 7-second Test?

The only way you can possibly grab an employer’s attention and hold it is to include one, preferably two, recent/relevant/quantified accomplishments in the opening summary that prove you are the perfect candidate for the position and what you can do for the company.

If you fail to do that, you won’t be invited in for an interview.

Hiring authorities don’t have the time or patience to search for data. You may be the best HR, IT, accounting, marketing, customer service or what-have-you individual around. But if you don’t spoon feed that information to them at the opening of your resume, they won’t look for it.

Nor do they care what you want. So drop the objective. The resume isn’t really about you. It’s about them…and what you can do for their company.

Once you get in that mindset, once your resume reflects the value you can bring to their organization, the invitations to interview will start pouring in.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

I loved that that my writer recommended things to me according to my background and field. I was pushed to really dig deep to find eye-catching information. I feel much more confident venturing out into the job market then I did a week ago.

— Dana R.
Administrative and Support Services
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

Resumes Written This Month
Resumes Written Since 1998