Does Your Resume Pass the 6-Second Test?

Dear Super Recruiter,
What’s most important on my resume? Where do you focus? — Dave, Brooklyn 

Dear Dave,
For me to reach out to a candidate, there has to be something on your resume that grabs my attention at first glance. Personally, the first places I usually look are at your current position, your technical skills and your education.

A recent study by TheLadders found recruiters only spend six seconds on average looking at your resume before deciding whether or not to contact you. Based on eye-tracking, the study found most recruiters are looking in the same areas as I am, saying “…recruiters will 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.”

Here are some tips to make sure your resume shines in the right areas:

  • Make your name and contact information clear at the top. The longer it takes to track you down, the more time other applicants have to be submitted.
  • Include detailed information on your current position. This is the position that gets the most scrutiny, so don’t skimp on the details!
  • Technical skills are key. What technologies are you strongest in? What are you currently working with? What’s in your environment? The more you include on your technical background, the easier it is to see if you’ll be a good fit for one of our roles.
  • Don’t hide your education (especially if it’s impressive). No matter where you recieved your education or training, include the name of the school/institution on your resume. If you went to a great school, that’s even better.
  • Keep it simple visually. If you jam too much on your resume, it’s harder to pick out what you’re really good at.