A new study by The Ladders examines what recruiters look for when reviewing resumes. They conducted an eye tracking of recruiters while they were processing resumes, where through the use of technology they deduced how long someone focused on a certain point or topic on a given page. After observing recruiters at work, they found that resumes are getting very little reading time. Many people already know their resume may only have seconds to make an impact, but more importantly is what they found the recruiters zeroed in on. It turns out only a handful data matters when giving your resume or profile the first glance.
How much time does a recruiter spend reviewing a resume?
Unfortunately, not much. Most job seekers think recruiters spend 4 to 5 minutes reviewing a resume. The truth: recruiters spend about 6 seconds before they make the initial “fit/no fit” decision. That means prioritizing information is essential.
Does a professionally written resume make a difference in what a recruiter learns about the candidate?
The results of the study revealed that the recruiters were able to easily find and focus on the important information they were looking for in a professional resume much faster than regular resumes or an online profile.
Are online profiles effective?
No. Online profiles have pictures, and unfortunately, recruiters tended to focus on them for the simple reason that pictures naturally draw the eye. We found they kept recruiters from locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience.
The Ladders seems to perceive pictures as a negative in the job filling task, but you don’t have to. In what may be for all the wrong reasons, it sounds like including a good picture in your online profile could be one of the most important factors in keeping the recruiter on your page.
There were six key data points that recruiters spent nearly 80% of their resume review time on: name, current title/company, previous title/company, previous position start and end dates, current position start and end dates, and education. When building your resume, emphasis should clearly be placed on making the most of what you can in these categories as far as clarity and accuracy go.
hat tip Flowing Data