How to win your dream job – Make a good impression in 30 seconds


How to win your dream job – Make a good impression in 30 seconds

Just assume you have seen an advertisement for your dream job. Of course, you will be super exited, and your mind will start questioning from you, “How do I win this opportunity?”


When an organization announced its job openings, it will be receiving plenty of resumes from various applicants. The very first thing organization will do is screen these resumes. This is the 1st point of selection and your resume should be able to create an impression within 30 seconds.

In the 1980s, there was a tagline for Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign as, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

Also, Robert Williams, a recruitment expert with decades of experience, tells us that a resume has a “30 second eyeball time”.

It shows us that your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume plays a significant role in the process of winning your dream job. A resume is not just a document. It is the marketing document used to sell yourself to employers. It provides information about you, your professional background, skills and capabilities, accomplishments.

Finally, it should emphasize why you’re the greatest fit for the job.

Let’s discuss the tips to be followed to create a big impression in a small amount of time.

Step 01 – Pre-resume – writing research

Before you start creating your resume, spend some time studying the new resume trends, alternative layouts that will make your resume is more eye-catching.

Next, if you have no proper idea about skills and knowledge which potential employers are looking for, go through relevant job advertisements related to particular job and identify them. Don’t worry about soft skills, but always give priority industry-specific skills.

Step 02 – Research the company

Having a standard structure for your resume doesn’t mean you should email the same resume to all the companies.

Yes, we have been doing this, forwarding the same resume to all the companies. It’s time to STOP! and invest some time to customize and highlight the information relevant to the company and job you’re applying for. None of the companies are the same and it should be reflected from your resume.

Therefore, your resume should;

  • include and highlight your relevant experience, knowledge.
  • use the language, industry buzz words related to the specific job description.

Remember, this will give anattractive a message that you have understood the position and company requirement well.

Step 03 – Present yourself as a problem-solver

Always, there is a specific need that each company expects from the person they are looking for. The advertisement contains details regarding the company’s problem and applicants should be smart enough to refer to it well and understand.

That’s not enough, your resume should reflect how you would be a perfect solution to the company’s problem.

Step 04 – Highlight key information

Now, its time to link our steps 01, 02, and 03.

Make sure to draw attention to your key information, such as specific competences, experience and capabilities which going to be attractive for employers.

You could do this by;

  • separating it from blocks of text so that it stands out
  • putting it in bold
  • putting it in the top section

Whatever you do, ensure that the person who reads won’t miss it!

Step 05 – Formatting and structuring your resume

It is always good to research and download a few resume formats, because your resume format and its structureare also essential as much as the content.

Here are some formatting and layout tips:

  • Font type: Mostly we send the resume in a digital format. Therefore, we should use a clear font like Calibri or Arial. Likewise, not to go for fancy colours but can use different font types for headings while maintaining professionalism.
  • Font size and page margins: Use a font size between 10 – 12 for resume body and between 14 – 18 for headings. Page margins should not be less than 1.27cm and keeping around 2.5cm will avoid the cluttered look while making the document easy to read. White space will add clarity and professionalism to your resume.
  • Length: It is appropriate to limit the resume to two or three pages, not more than that.
  • Headings: Make it big and bold to ensure an easy read.

What to include in your resume?

  • A headshot: It’s common practice to include a professional photo of yourself on your resume.
  • Name, professional title and contact details: Top of the page, include your name, professional title and contact details such as your email address and phone number(s), your residential address. Adding your LinkedIn profiles in this section will be value addition – if only it is up to date!
  • Personal profile / personal statement: This should be a short paragraph, containingan overview of who you are? What can you offer? What are your career goals?
  • Experience and employment history: List your experience (backward sequential order as your recent position is the most applicable to the employer. Include your job title, the employer, the period you worked, and a sentence that summarizes the role. Key job responsibilities, accomplishments can be listed down in point form. If you have many years of experience, list down the most relevant duties only and reduce the details of old or irrelevant job roles, to maintain the length of the resume.
  • Education and qualifications – Same as the experience section, this should be listed in backward sequential order. Mention the institute name, education period, qualification and grades you achieved.

Following are the additional section you can include in your resume if you have enough space;

  • Key skills: Insert this section to show off your capabilities to the employer instantly.
  • References: You can include a line that reads references available on request.
  • Hobbies and interests: You can enhance your document by adding the hobbies and interests section at the end.

Before emailing your resume…..

  • Proofreading and consistency – Avoid every mistake or invest in intelligent spellcheckers to double-check the typos and inaccuracies. Formatting should be consistent to keep it clear and simple.
  • Saving the file – To make sure the employer receive your resume as you intended, save it as a pdf file.

Follow these to make your RESUME the LAST one employer need to read, and you’re the FIRST person they want to call!


Hashani Ruberu

Assistant Manager – Human Resource & Administration.

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