We’ve all done it. Sent countless resumes to recruiters and HR departments, only to get no response, leaving you to wonder what was it that left them cold. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall and understand just what the recruiter is thinking? Well we can’t do that…yet, but a recent study conducted by TheLadders offers some great insight into how recruiters actually “see” your resume.
Using a ground- breaking technique called “eye tracking”, the study assessed the behavior of 30 recruitment professionals over a 10 week period and monitored their eye assessment as they performed tasks, including resume and candidate profile reviews.
Most surprising is that 80% of the recruiters time was spent looking at just these 6 data points:
- Current Title/Company
- Current position start & end date
- Previous Title/Company
- Previous position start & end date
So what about those well crafted bullets and descriptions of your past successes that you killed yourself over? They’re important, but interestingly enough the study found that the recruiters did little more than scan these sections for “keywords” to check that the experience matched the open position. Meaning that if you want to job, you better make sure that you call out any and all skills that an employers lists as being a “requirement” in the job posting. The rest is clearly fluff.
The other interesting finding was the true impact that organization and formatting had on a resume being reviewed. “Recruiters tend to follow a consistent visual path when reviewing both resumes and online profiles, so an organized layout is crucial”. As the photo to the left demonstrates, resumes that are poorly organized (far left) result in the recruiters eye jumping around the page, versus those that are structured (right) and draws the recruiters eye down the page.
Photos were also a key focus area accounting for 19% of a recruiters time spent.
So what to do?
For hard copy (paper) resumes, employ the help of a good resume professional or online template service to help you craft your information, and organize it a way that is easy to read and without distractions. Online, we have wisely already incorporated all these elements into your Hourly profile, and created a virtual resume that you can send to any employer with the click of a button. Get started on the right foot today!