Your resume is a 6 second sales pitch.

One page, less adjectives, more facts. There's no time for anything else. The person reading your resume spends an average of 6 seconds skimming it before a decision [1].

I manage the hiring at Gamelynx, and during my undergrad I did six internships (Riot Games, Kik, etc.). I've helped screen hundreds of resumes and found they too often end up with confusing designs and useless details. Here's my suggestions:

One Page

Don't make people think. One page, one column [2]. The layout of information needs to be obvious so people can skim to what they're looking for. The initial 6 second scan of your resume is just seeing if you fit a checklist by looking at the following things:

  • Name and contact info
  • Relevant skill keywords
  • Present and previous title(s), companies, and the start and end dates
  • Education

If your resume layout makes these as easy as possible to spot, you're doing it right.

resume example

Less Adjectives

Writing resume content is a simple but challenging task: explain your experiences and impact in as few words as possible.

When summarizing your skills, please avoid subjective adjectives or visual indicators for skill mastery (like skill bubbles or bars). There's no universal measuring stick to quantify competency. The question is simple: What skills can you perform in a work environment? Just list those skills. Only use bullet points if there are accomplishments you need to get across in the first 6 seconds.

For summarizing experiences, your goal is to maximize the impact of what gets read. Skip the adjectives, unimportant points, and the unimportant jobs. You don't need to list all of your experiences (you have LinkedIn for that).

More Facts

Sometimes I see points like: Built an auto-downloader test tool. This could've been the hardest thing in the world, or a cake walk. No one knows.

You need to include the skills used in your work, specify what your individual contribution was, and ideally explain the impact your work had with metrics.

Freed up 10% of QA team work week by taking the initiative to develop an auto-downloader test tool.
AngularJS, PHP, MongoDB

This is the hardest part, but well worth the time invested.

Find More Facts

If you got any awards or accolades, or your work had impact on people, mention it! This could be as simple as saying your side project has a few hundred users, or mentioning that the app redesign you worked on got an Apple feature. [3]

Explain Your Facts

Don't assume the reader knows that award you got. If it's impactful, give it a proper brief explanation. If it's not worth that then it's a waste of space.

  1. Eye Tracking Study of 30 recruiters observed over 10 weeks. It's not perfect, but it makes the point. ↩︎

  2. To seize every job you ever wanted. ↩︎

  3. Shoutout to Niniane Wang, whose article from 2005 helped me get my resume together the first time around. ↩︎

Alexander Mistakidis

Alexander Mistakidis

I'm a hopeful ponderer; I like asking why. CEO at Gamelynx, a mobile games studio focused on team-based competitive games. Computer Science grad from University of Waterloo.

Read More

Get new updates, usually once a week

Explore more about life, design, and technology.