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30% of Resumes Don't Get Read. Here's Why...

18 May 12:00 By Vicki-Anne Craigen

Vicki-Anne Craigen resumes don't get read

Having nearly clocked 20 years in recruitment, I can confidently say that 30% of the resumes I’ve received have not represented the skills or the personality of the person well enough to entice me to meet with them. In recent years, specialising in sourcing talent for the creative community, that statistic might in fact be higher. Why? Because if a designer can’t design their own resume or a finished artist can’t layout one…need I say more?

It’s a serious statistic for those of you who have been on the job market at one time or another, as this means that one in three resumes have the potential to hit my trash bin. I’m sure for recruiters just starting out, the statistic is probably higher as they’re yet to hone their skills on how to see through the chaos to the potential of the candidate.  

We’re all time poor so I’ll get to the point. If your resume doesn’t get read, you won’t get an interview, which means no job. So, here are my 5 tips to make sure your resume does get read, so you do get an interview (and if you perform well, maybe even get the job!):

1.   List your achievements rather than your duties. 
Resumes all start to blur into one when only the duties are listed. They read like position descriptions which the head of the creative studio, or other hiring manager, probably already knows backwards. Surprise the hiring manager and tell them about what you achieved in your previous roles so they can imagine what you can achieve for them; what potential value you will add to their business.

2.   Avoid long text explaining in detail what you did. 
It's highly unlikely that it will get read unless you can highlight key words to the reader, which in some businesses may be a computer program. A hiring manager mostly scans first, and reads second, to see if the words they’re looking for are there. At Creative Recruiters, we advise that you use bullet points with succinct sentences, which contain key search words aimed at enticing the reader to actually read your resume. Again, remember the reader is likely to scan first and read second, but only if you’ve persuaded them to do so.

3.   Leave no room for assumptions to be made. 
While it may appear as though you've moved around a lot, in fact, you’ve been completing contract jobs in order to get a greater understanding of the industry as a whole. Or maybe you chose to do contracts and freelance work to refine your skills?  Whatever the case, make a clear note that you did the contract and freelance roles for a reason. Write your reason for leaving each role so that a positive story, if there is one to tell, is clearly highlighted. 

4.   Have a clean layout, keep images interesting and ensure they reflect those of the business you want to work for, and use a simple yet stylish typography.  
The look and feel of your resume says a lot about you, particularly if you’re a designer.  Finished artists who can’t layout their resume? Well, you may as well invest your time in another career as you’ll never get through to the hiring manager. Remember, when you’re applying for a job YOU are the product, so make sure you represent yourself well to the buyer who happens to be your next employer.

5.   Make sure there are no spelling mistakes! 
Unless you want to ensure your resume ends up in the trash bin, of course. There’s no excuse for them given the spell check editing options which are available today. Spelling mistakes tell the reader that your attention to detail is lacking, and/or your care factor for that matter. Either way, this won’t be acceptable to your next boss.


Have a great week everyone!



Director – Creative Recruiters

m: +61 413 453 563



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