Making an Impact in 6.25 Seconds

If your resume has somehow made its way past the automated resume scraping software and into the hands of an actual decision maker, you are among the chosen few. The only task left is for your resume to land you an interview in 6.25 seconds.

Research released last year by The Ladders revealed 6.25 seconds as the average amount of time recruiters spend looking at a resume before deciding if a candidate is the right fit for a company. As mentioned in the Forbes article about this study, recruiters spend about 80% of that 6.25 seconds looking at four key areas of a resume:

  • Name
  • Current title and company
  • Previous title and company
  • Previous position, start and end dates
  • Current position, start and end dates
  • Education

Tips for turning your resume into a narrative

Armed with the knowledge that your recruiter’s focus is on just the first page and the last section of your resume, how do you go about chronicling these sections to make an impact in five seconds?SC&C resume stand out

  • Keep your font crisp and clear. There is a world of fonts that exist beyond Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri. Make sure your resume remains easy to read, but experiment with the fonts for your name, brand/tagline and section headers. Draw attention to these sections by adding a little bit of personality to your font selections. You may not want to go with anything too playful like Comic Sans or Bradley Hand ITC.
  • Quantify your achievements. Amidst a sea of words, the eye will automatically gravitate toward numbers and percentages and quickly search for relevance and context. Breaking up the monotony of a page full of words with numbers helps the reader’s eye focus on the whole resume.
  • Add color. A well-chosen splash of color on your resume can also help to draw the eye to areas you want to highlight. When it comes to traditional resumes, the tendency is to play it safe. Let your experience speak for you. Well, a hum-drum resume that will only be reviewed for six seconds isn’t doing your experience any favors. Consider subdued, professional colors on quality white linen paper.
  • Use visuals. Our brains process images much faster than they process words. Small charts and graphics can communicate valuable information about your skillset and experience that otherwise wouldn’t catch the recruiter’s eye if it were in text form.

Using one or more of the above suggestions can help you to set your resume apart from the others. At the very least, it will buy you a few more seconds for your resume to make its pitch. In this job market, every second really does count.

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200, to learn how SC&C and their team of professional resume writers can help you.