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Thursday, April 12, 2012
How Recruiters Look At Your Resume
Many resumes end up at the bottom of the pile, and with the results of a recent study highlighted by BusinessInsider, it's no wonder: recruiters only look at your resume for an average of six seconds before making a decision about you. Here's what information they actually see.
The study used a scientific technique called “eye tracking” on 30
and examined their eye movements during a 10-week period to "record and
where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information or completing a task."
In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed 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.
The two resumes below include a heat map of recruiters' eye movements. The one on the right was looked at more thoroughly than the one of the left because of its clear and concise format:
With such critical time constraints, you should make it easier for recruiters to find pertinent information by creating a resume with a clear visual hierarchy and don't include distracting visuals since "such visual elements reduced recruiters’ analytical capability and hampered
" and kept them from "locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience."
Beyond these six data points, recruiters did little more than scan for keywords to match the open position, which amounted to a very cursory "pattern matching" activity. Because decisions were based mostly on the six pieces of data listed above, an individual resume’s detail and explanatory copy became filler and had little to no impact on the initial decision making. In fact, the study’s eye tracking technology shows that recruiters spent about 6 seconds on their initial "fit/no fit" decision.
When you're updating your next resume, make this information easy to find. It seems the rest isn't all that important.
- credit: Business Insider
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