Blink And You'll Miss It! The average time a recruiter reviews one single resume is six seconds. Yep. You read that correctly, six whopping seconds!In various studies using “eye tracking,"an advanced assessment of eye movement that records and analyzes where and how long a person focuses on information, broke it down as follows:
– Current position/Employer
– Previous position/Employer
– Start and end dates
In order to understand the data, you have to understand the volume in which recruiters and hiring managers are reviewing resumes. On average, a typical office position can yield up to 250 resumes, while an IT position can yield up to 500. A typical recruiter handles anywhere between 25-35 requisitions (open job positions) give or take a few. See where this is going? Maybe that six seconds isn't so far out after all.
Keywords and Focus
When a resume is being reviewed, the recruiter is looking for keywords that match with the position's overall function, qualifications and skills needed. When they see those keywords, it's comparable to a huge neon sign blinking rapidly begging them to "read more! read more!" Keywords are critical in helping your resume stand out from the others.
Review your resume's keywords that directly relate to the position(s) you are applying for often. What To Remove From Your Resume ASAP! Knowing what to include on your resume is important but equally important is knowing what to eliminate. Let's start with the obvious...
1. Outdated Information. There is nothing more frustrating than interviewing a candidate who has not updated their resume. For example, employment dates that are "current" when they've left that employer months prior, or vice versa, employment dates have ended but new work experience is not updated. Either way, its not a good look and shows a lack of detail and a lack of urgency.
2. Blanket Objectives. Many resumes are sent with blanket objectives so when the candidate is applying it can appeal to many industries. Don't do it. It's a complete waste of space on a resume. If you are going to add an objective, make sure its targeted and specific to what you bring to the table for that particular position. Refrain from cookie-cutter phrases like "dedicated and self-driven professional..."
3. Multiple Page Resumes. Unless you are applying for a position that focuses on detail or a high level of compliance, there is no reason to have a resume that is more than two pages. Everything of value you bring to the table will be discussed on the interview. Save it for then.
4. Too Much Detail / Text. Think of your resume as a sneak peak, a brief overview of your skills, experience, goals and accomplishments. Long detailed descriptions of what you did or what you are doing is unnecessary. Get to the point. If not, its a sure fire way for a recruiter to take a pass, quickly!
Closing Thoughts A resume should be a summary of who you are in a professional sense. Focus on keywords that highlight your knowledge, skills and abilities. Remember to keep it simple, keep it professional and always keep it attractive (no typos, weird formatting or crazy fonts.)