How Long Does a Recruiter Review a Resume?

In the last few weeks, there has been much discussion about a study that came out which reviewed recruiters’ resume scanning behavior. The key points of the study show that recruiters only scan resumes for 6 seconds and look for key pieces of information such as name, current title and company, past titles and company, and education.

The study was interesting in that it took heat sensing technology to watch recruiters behavior as they reviewed resumes. Now in reading the full study, it is slightly biased towards promoting the sponsoring company’s services, but it still provided good information and a flash point for much discussion.

In my experience, recruiters have also shared that they tend to only look at a resume in the “Preview” pane so as to not trigger OFFCP tracking. My recommendation then to security cleared job seekers is to put the key information such as skills, education, certifications and clearance level in the top two inches of their resume.

Any other recommendations hiring managers or recruiters would offer to job seeker’s who are preparing their resumes?

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Peggy Nypaver

There are so many useful online sources and templates available for writing effective resumes that there’s no excuse for submitting one that’s not perfect (free of grammatical and spelling errors!). The purpose of a resume is to land an interview so it needs to be persuasive.

A resume is designed to be skimmed quickly so it should be concise. It should always include an objective so the employer can identify quickly what the applicant is seeking and what he/she has to offer (i.e., organization’s name and specific position/title, as well as a brief statement indicating how applicant will provide value to the company). Every resume should include education, work experience (list highest degree first) and contact information in an easy-to-read consistent format.

The resume should be “user centered”. If an applicant is seriously interested in a position, he/she should take the time to make sure the resume is tailored to the specific job. Applicant should pick and choose the training and experience that will best showcase the competencies that are needed for the position.

And, of course, the resume shouldn’t include misleading information – it may get you an interview but won’t land you a job.