Resumes are an integral part of the job search process, and can make or break your chances at getting an interview. Brad Boyson, the executive director of the Society of Human Resources Management’s MEA office, gave us some key advice to construct the ideal resume that can grab the attention of the recruiters.

“The CV, or the resume, is the first thing that usually organizations see,” Boyson says. He notes that it’s a candidate’s chance to get a foot in the door. Boyson estimates that recruiters typically look at a resume for six to eight seconds, so making a good first impression is important.

“Depending on your strengths you should either put work first or education first,” Boyson notes, adding that fresh graduates are likely better off if they emphasize their educational accomplishments rather than work experience. “But talk about your accomplishments and not just the activities that you’ve done in these organizations or at your school.”

“Resumes that are full of information don’t get looked at,” Boyson says. “You need to put just the essential information: your knowledge, your skills and other attributes.” The latter is of utmost importance to recruiters, as a candidate’s personal interests or passions set them apart from competition, and give the recruiter a more well-rounded view of them. He notes that these interests should be out of the norm, and interests that everyone has, like “surfing the web,” don’t warrant space on a resume.

“Find the things that you know are unique and different about you,” he says, adding that courses taken outside of work or school requirements should also be mentioned.