Saturday, April 21, 2012

Resume Looked at for 6 Seconds by Job Recruiters

A recent study by TheLadders provides some interesting revelations about what a recruiter looks at on your resume. When you receive hundreds, or thousands, of resumes on a daily basis, you don't have time to read them all verbatim.

Eye-tracking software was used to determine where the recruiters' eyes were looking, what was there, and how long. As it turns out recruiters were able to decide on call-backs in as little as six seconds in most cases. Reportedly, recruiters did "little more than scan for keywords to match the open position." This amounts to hardly more than cursory patter matching.

Recruiters spend most of their time looking over 6 main points: Name, Current Company & Job Title, Start and End dates at your current job, Prior Job Title and Company, Start and End dates at your last job, as well as your education. The details of your resume and cover letter became little more than filler.

Does this change the way we should be building our resumes? Putting the more relevant information near the top to be easily spotted by a recruiter, is there a such thing as Resume SEO, will there be? Soon I imagine that the paper resume will be obsolete and we'll be relying on electronic versions. With employers and recruiters already running resumes through a scanning machine to toss out the poor matches (based on keywords found by the program in your resume) before they even land on a recruiter or HR person's desk, it's beginning to look more and more like we'll be crafting our resumes even more. One thing is for sure, no matter what, keywords in your resume are a determinant in whether or not you even get a phone call, or an interview.

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