Before you read an article (for example, in a newspaper or magazine), you probably first try to estimate whether the material is interesting enough to read entirely.
After all, you don’t want to waste your time, do you?
You look at the heading of the article, and you can quickly read the first and last sentence. If your interest is triggered, you will read the rest. If not, the same process starts again from the beginning with the next article.
For recruiters, it works about the same when reviewing resumes.
Every day they see dozens if not hundreds of resumes. It is quickly determined whether you are a candidate who requires more attention than the rest. Because one thing is sure: not all candidates can be viewed carefully. Apart from the fact that it is almost impossible to compare candidates from all the details, it is also not cost-efficient.
Well, so far, there is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps, you already suspected that you only have a short time to convince the reader of your suitability.
What you probably didn’t know is that research has been done on this.
The result of the investigation is you only have six seconds.
Yes or no in six seconds
For the sake of the research, thirty recruiters were followed for ten weeks during their daily work. Their working method was observed utilizing a technique called ‘eye tracking.’
One of the recruitment tasks that was under the microscope was how they looked at resumes during the selection process. Thus attention was paid to:
Surprisingly, on average, it took recruiters only six seconds before a first yes/no decision was made.
Which information recruiters find important
The study also showed that no less than 80% of the time was spent on viewing:
After these points were scanned, recruiters were particularly interested in keywords. Think of specific competencies or words that relate to a particular function, such as ‘ turnover’ and ‘ profit’ for sales professionals and managers or ‘ Python’ and ‘C ++’ for a programmer.
What this means for your resume
An important conclusion that can be drawn by this research is that reading your resume should be childishly simple.
The reader must be able to effortlessly find your name, most recent positions, and courses. Besides, in that short period that you have the attention. You want to convey as much information as possible that underlines your suitability.
The simpler it is to find the right information, the lower the cognitive burden (‘mental power’) for the reader. The lower the cognitive load, the more information can be recorded in the same period and the higher the chance that relevant information will be read.
In short, the easier your CV is to read, the higher the chance of a positive result.
The research concluded that the essential requirements for achieving this are:
Does your current resume pass the six-second test?
Would you like more information about how to prepare a resume that passes the six-second test? Contact us so we can help you with your current resume work. Let’s make it awesome!