Result of a formal survey, conducted by job recruitment website The Ladders, shows that it only takes an average of six seconds for a job recruiter to scan a resume and determine whether an applicant should go to the next level. It also provided information on the most important areas of a resume.
The study, which was conducted over the span of ten weeks, used eye-tracking technology to measure job recruiters’ eye movements as they perused resumes and online profiles. This procedure helped create visual heat maps (see image below) which allowed researchers to determine how long recruiters spend looking through resumes, which part they focused on and what content was largely ignored.
According to results, job recruiters spend nearly 80% of their time focusing on six different areas of a resume, namely:
- your name
- current title/company
- previous title/company
- current position start and end dates
- previous position start and end dates
It was also found that it only takes 6 seconds for a recruiter to size up a resume and decide whether to throw it in the trash bin or consider its owner for the position. Other results reveal that visual features such as pictures, graphs, and ads on employment-related sites are distracting, eat up precious time and reduce the recruiter’s decision-making ability.
To improve your chances of snatching a job, follow these tips based on the results of this study:
- Prevent job recruiters from getting distracted by making sure your resume is free of visual clutter.
- Use “an organized layout” and a “strong visual hierarchy.”
- Focus on the six key areas that recruiters spend their time gazing at.