Making the 6 Seconds the Recruiter Spends on Your Resume Count

According to a study released by The Ladders, an online job-matching service, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. So what are they actually looking for, and what will get your CV through that six-second window?


(Photo Credit: William Warby/Flickr)

The Ladders conducted an “eye tracking” study on recruiters to record and analyze the most crucial information they were scanning.

“In the short time that they (the recruiters) spend with your resume, they look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education,” writes Vivian Giang at Business Insider.

Here are a few tips to make it easy for the recruiters and to increase your chances in the shortlist race.

  • Use a clear and concise format.
  • Give the information they’re looking for in a platter – in other words, make it easy for the recruiters to find the information they are looking for.
  • Your resume is not your professional memoir. Too much detail can easily be irrelevant detail. Stick to the point and reserve the rest for the interview call.
  • Some organizations do respond well to creative resumes, but these are few and far in between. Don’t let a few popular media anecdotes skew your judgment. Consider whether it’s worth the time and effort to build a creative resume, or whether the company you’re applying to might respond better to a traditional format. 
  • Review your resume carefully for spelling and grammar, and have a trusted friend proofread it, to make sure you haven’t made any careless errors that will get your resume tossed in the trash.

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