Recruiters only spend about 6 seconds reviewing a candidate’s résumé to determine whether the person is a potential fit for a position, a recent study (pdf) by TheLadders says.
Compare that with the 4-5 minutes per résumé that recruiters have self-reported in the past.
TheLadders’ report was based on data from an eye-tracking study of 30 professional recruiters who were monitored over a 10-week period as they performed online tasks, including reviewing résumés and candidate profiles.
Below are key findings from the study:
What recruiters look for on résumés
- The candidate’s name.
- The candidate’s current title/company.
- The candidate’s previous title/company.
- The start and end dates of the candidate’s previous position.
- The start and end dates of the candidate’s current position.
- The candidate’s education.
Beyond those six elements, recruiters did little more than scan for keywords to match the open positions.
Because the recruiters primarily based their fit/no-fit decisions on those six pieces of data, each résumé’s detail and explanatory copy had little impact on the initial decision-making.
How recruiters view résumés and online profiles
Recruiters tend to follow a consistent visual path when they review both résumés and online profiles, the study found. It’s crucial that your résumé has an organized layout.
On a scale of one to seven, recruiters gave professionally rewritten résumés an average usability rating of 6.2, compared with a 3.9 rating before the rewrite.
On LinkedIn profiles, recruiters spent about 19 percent of their time looking at the profile pictures.
A version of this article originally appeared on Marketing Profs.