In today’s competitive job market, it’s crucial to ensure your resume stands out when applying for positions in the life sciences industry, which encompasses health, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. With numerous applicants vying for the same roles, the goal is to submit a resume that not only captures the attention of recruiters but also incorporates essential industry-related keywords.
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The Importance of Resume Formatting
A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder revealed that 39% of hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing a resume. Shockingly, 23% of them spend less than 30 seconds. This underscores the significance of making your resume stand out.
Should Your Resume Be Visually Appealing?
Not necessarily. Most applications are processed through a database before a human hiring manager reviews them. Overly graphic-rich resumes can pose readability challenges for automated systems, potentially reducing your chances of being shortlisted.
Our Recommendation: Reserve visually appealing aspects for the interview stage, where they can be more effectively showcased.
Effective Resume Formatting Strategies
Consider the following strategies to format your resume effectively when applying for jobs in the life sciences industry
- Incorporate Job Description Keywords
- Eliminate Tables
- Keep It Concise
- Maximize Space
- Adopt an Action and Impact Format
- Remove “References Available Upon Request”
- Include Unpaid Work When Relevant
- Thorough Proofreading
- Professional Email Address
- Upload in PDF or Word Document
Steps to Format Your Resume
Here are 10 ways you can format your resume to make it easy to read and professional.
Incorporate Job Description Keywords
Customizing your resume according to the specific job description provides an immediate advantage. Utilize keywords and phrases from the job listing, aligning your resume with the hiring manager’s expectations.
To enhance compatibility with applicant tracking systems, remove any tables and graphics from your resume. This step increases the likelihood of your profile being identified as a strong match for the role.
Keep It Concise
Limit your resume to a maximum of two pages. A shorter resume is not only more readable but also more impactful. Lengthy resumes are prone to being skimmed, potentially missing key information.
Make efficient use of available space by shrinking columns, reducing indentation, and using a smaller font size for paragraph breaks. These formatting adjustments can help you include additional relevant experiences and make your resume stand out.
Adopt an Action and Impact Format
Focus on highlighting how you made a positive impact in your previous roles rather than listing tasks. Utilize an “action and effect” approach for each bullet point to demonstrate the value you brought to your workplace.
Remove “references available upon request”
References are typically requested during the interview process. Eliminate this line from your resume to free up valuable space.
Include unpaid work if relevant
Volunteer or unpaid work can reveal character, dedication, and overall well-being. If the experience is pertinent to the job, it can set you apart from other applicants.
Typos can be detrimental, with 77% of rejected resumes attributed to such errors. Leverage tools like Grammarly and spell check, and have a peer review your resume to catch any typos you may have missed.
Professional Email Address
Ensure your email address conveys professionalism by including your name and using a reputable email provider such as Outlook or Gmail.
Upload in PDF or Word Document
Always upload your resume in PDF or Word Document format. These formats are most compatible with applicant tracking systems and maximize the likelihood of reaching the hiring manager’s desk.
By following these strategic resume formatting tips, you can enhance your chances of standing out in the competitive landscape of the life sciences industry and making a favorable impression on potential employers.
When formatting your resume, the end goal is to make it easy for both the applicant system and the hiring manager to read. Making a resume that delivers concise points and removes any visuals that distract from the format will maximize your chances of getting the interview when you apply.