You’ve probably heard that a recruiter spends an average of 6 seconds looking at a resume before deciding if an applicant is suitable for the job…but do you know why?
It’s a popular recruitment technique known as “eye tracking.” At the end of the day, if a recruiter has to go through 100 applications for a job, they’re not going to sit and read through every single one.
However, there are a couple of techniques you can use to guide your reader into feeling compelled to read more and see whether you’re the right person for the job, giving you the maximum opportunities to secure the job of your dreams. With a little bit of time and effort, you can revive your resume from one of the most torturous aspects of the professional world into a document that will secure your future.
4 Ways to Keep a Recruiter’s Attention for More Than 6 Seconds
1. Put Your Best Accomplishments At The Top
Your achievements are what defines you as a person (okay, not really, but on a resume they are.) They brought you to success in your past positions, which is why you feel you’re suitable for the job you’re applying for. When structuring your past achievements, for example, when listing out your responsibilities for every job, place your best accomplishments at the top. This is the first thing your future recruiter will see and is the feature that will draw them into the rest of your CV.
2. Remember You’re Human
When it comes to resumes, it’s best to remember that you are trying to describe yourself, and (as you well know) you don’t spend your whole life working (unless you do, in which case, refer to our articles on self-care and love yourself.) You’ve got personality, ambition, and traits that make you the person you are, and this should be evident in your resume.
Simon Romero, a writer from Paper Fellows explains, “The hobbies and out-of-work area of the CV is one of the most neglected. By being honest and including things such as any side projects you’re working, you can give the recruiter a real insight into who you are and what you’ve got to give. All this combined with your work history builds up an accurate image of who you are”.
[RELATED: The 13 Best-Kept Resume Secrets]
3. Accuracy and Precision
One of the biggest turn-offs for recruiters reading through pile after pile of resumes is the quality of the resume itself. It’s all well and good creating a 2,500-word document detailing the ins and outs of your past (not actually though, please don’t this), but if it’s riddled with mistakes, the recruiter is throwing your resume straight into the garbage.
Thomas Walsh, head of HR at Ox Essays says, “During our days, we review countless CVs for various positions, 40% of which we place straight in the ‘reject’ pile. On paper, we’ve seen some really amazing applicants, but being concise in your work is such an important trait to have. A lot of the mistakes we see could be simply resolved with a quick read through, something most of these applicants haven’t done, which just shows how much care they have put in.”
4. Avoid Traditional Buzzwords
The final aspect of making your resume stand out from the crowd is to actually prove you’re different. If you can keep a recruiter on your resume for more than those 6 seconds, your chances of securing the job increase tenfold.
Try to avoid using traditional keywords such as ‘motivated’ and ‘responsible.’ The vast majority of resumes will have these words, making yours seem like any other.
Mastering the art of creating a good resume can take a couple of attempts to get right but once it’s there, it’s a skill that will stay with you for life.
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- 4 Ways to Keep a Recruiter’s Attention for More Than 6 Seconds - August 2, 2017