Recruiters Notice These 2 Things About Your Résumé Within the First 6 Seconds

Updated 04/10/18

Considering the large- or small-scale automation of nearly every industry, it comes as no surprise that robots are disrupting the recruiting process as well. As Inc. reports, job boards have become accessible to any and all job seekers, which means they're receiving an extremely high volume of applications. This is where Applicant Tracking Systems (or ATS) come in. "These systems automatically weed out most of the candidates who aren't a close match for the role," explains the publication. "To give you an idea, only 3 percent of those who apply online ever get contacted by a recruiter.

It's safe to say if you aren't getting called for job interviews, ATS has something to do with it." 

If you do actually manage to get your résumé in front of a pair of human eyes, one study from Ladders found that you have roughly six seconds to make a lasting impression. To identify this statistic, they brought in recruiters and analyzed their level of focus while viewing résumés using eye tracking, which is a "type of technology that records and analyzes where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information," reads the report. "Recruiters spend about 6 seconds before they make the initial 'fit/no fit' decision."

In other words, you have to design your résumé in a way that grabs the recruiter's attention in order to end up in the elusive "yes" pile. They recommend utilizing white space effectively and sticking to the hard facts on your résumé. "The more empty space there is on a page, the easier it is for someone to read what's actually on it," adds Inc. "Visual overload will make a recruiter skip reading your résumé. A rule of thumb is to never go smaller than a .7 inch margin, or a 11 point font."

Secondly, numbers (as opposed to fluff and self-flattery) are your friend. "Recruiters cringe when they see things like, I'm a innovative self-starter who has mastered the art of... Instead, stick to the facts. 'I managed a team of 20 people and a budget of $500,000.' Numbers are not only the easiest thing to read when skimming a résumé, they are also what is most likely to be remembered by the recruiter."

Head over to Inc. for more.

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