If you’ve read any “how-to” article with resume writing tips and advice, you already know to highlight your achievements. To showcase your skills relevant to the job you’re applying for. To keep your resume brief yet powerful and descriptive. These tips are, at this point, pretty well-known within the realm of resume writing. What is less-discussed, however, is where all of your most important accomplishments, skills, and experiences should be located. My suggestion? Above the fold.
“Above the fold” is a term which originated in the newspaper industry. Important photographs and news stories/reports are always placed at the top of the newspaper to ensure the reader will notice them easily and quickly. Since papers are usually folded in half when they are purchased and/or delivered, only the top half is visible, and this half is described as “above the fold.” As you might expect, the less-important stories and information are below the fold.
Your resume needs to be treated in the same way. Put yourself into the shoes of a newspaper editor and think to yourself “what does the reader want to see the most?” This information goes above the fold. The same goes for your resume. What does a recruiter or hiring manager want to see most? As mentioned above, your accomplishments and relevant skills are your strongest selling points and are also what the reader is looking for while reviewing your resume.
You may be thinking “but Drew, most resumes are viewed electronically – there is no fold.” True. But, when opening a document on your computer, typically you cannot see the entire thing. Only the top half of the first page is usually visible. If there is nothing impressive to see there, what compels the reader to keep scrolling? Nothing. Prioritize the information on your resume to ensure that your most impressive attributes and achievements are immediate visible, otherwise your chances of getting a call for an interview are slim to none.
By Drew Roark