3 tips for a “hyper-focused” CV to attract the attention of recruiters at a job fair


Your resume can make or break your chances of getting a new job opportunity. Although some hiring managers and recruiters spend time carefully analyzing your resume, at a job fair you usually only have a few seconds to make a good impression.

In today’s competitive job market, it’s important for candidates, especially new graduates, to have an eye-catching and informative resume.

Emily Liou, career happiness coach and founder of job search platform Cultivitae, has reviewed thousands of resumes over her nearly 10-year career in recruiting and career coaching, and says your resume is “a marketing tool, not a revealer of everything you’ve done”

“Writing a resume can be a bit more difficult for a job fair because you’re not tailoring it to just one organization or one position.”

Based on advice from Liou, these three tips can help ensure your resume is ready for the job fair:

Be clear and concise

According to a former Amazon recruiter, you have six seconds to catch a hiring manager’s eye when they review your resume. If your resume is long and long, chances are they probably won’t take the time to read it all.

Liou suggests painting a “clear narrative” about the role you want and what information would be most valuable to the company, while keeping it brief.

“Even if it’s not for a specific company or role specific, your CV should highlight who you are, who you want to serve, what you want to do and how you do it. Zone in on that and adapt your CV accordingly.

This not only helps you grab the recruiter’s attention early on, but a clear skill set could potentially open doors to other opportunities.

“Having a hyper-focused resume also allows an organization to say, ‘We don’t have this role, but have you considered this other role that we have open? “You seem like a great candidate for that.”

Perfect your personal summary

Your professional summary is the first thing a recruiter will see at the top of your CV. Liou says this part of the resume is especially crucial for college students and new graduates, who may not yet have established work experience.

“The professional summary must be able to tell the employer who you are before he even has to dissect your experience, your training, your internships, etc.

After the professional summary, Liou suggests formatting the rest of the CV in this order:

  1. Skills: Take a snapshot of the difficult technical abilities you have acquired throughout your career or education
  2. Experience: relevant to the direction you want to take
  3. Volunteering: extracurricular activities that have contributed to your professional success
  4. Education: Name your institution with your GPA after graduation

keep it simple

Gen Z job seekers have been getting creative with their resumes lately, with some even going so far as to submit video resumes on TikTok to show off their skills. Although this approach may be adopted by some companies, for a job fair, Liou suggests keeping it simple.

“Recruiters literally have six seconds to review and decide if someone might be a good fit for their company. I see a lot of people doing video resumes and they’re almost a minute long. People aren’t going to sit there and watch the everything before they can assess your background.”

Instead, Liou advises job seekers to keep it “standard and traditional,” at least until their first follow-up interaction with a hiring manager.

“There’s always the follow-up. If you know the company culture is creative, or your role requires some sort of social media, creativity, or video skills, the follow-up would be a great time to add that touch. “


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