What Recruiters Look At In The 6 Seconds They Spend On Your Resumé

Recruiters spend an average of just six seconds scanning a resumé before deciding if the candidate is worth calling in for an interview, according to research from TheLadders, a mobile career network for professionals.

“Recruiters are often inundated with job applications to popular listings, so it’s no surprise that they don’t spend a lot of time carefully reviewing each resumé,” says Amanda Augustine, a career expert at TheLadders. “However, none of us expected it to only take only six seconds.”

TheLadders used a scientific technique called “eye tracking” on 30 professional recruiters and examined their eye movements during a 10-week period to “record and analyse where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information or completing a task.”

In the short time that they spend on your resumé, recruiters 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.

The two resumés below include a heat map of recruiters’ eye movements. The one on the right was examined more thoroughly than the one on the left because of its clear and concise format:

“You only get six seconds to make the right impression, so you have to make them count,” Augustine says.

“Use a clean-looking layout that recruiters can easily scan and locate the information that matters most to them,” she suggests. “Avoid dense blocks of text for the same reason, and save your bullet points to call attention to your most noteworthy and relevant accomplishments. List your experience in chronological order, starting with your current job.”

This is an update of an article written by Vivian Giang.

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