A recruiter will spend 6 seconds on your resume. If you’re lucky.

From Flowing Data: During evaluations, eye tracking software was employed, and they found that the recruiters spent about six seconds on a resume looking for six main things: name, current company and title, previous company and title, previous position start and end dates, current position start and end dates, and education. After that, it was a crapshoot.

Beyond these six data points, recruiters did little more than scan for keywords to match the open position, which amounted to a very cursory “pattern matching” activity. Because decisions were based mostly on the six pieces of data listed above, an individual resume’s detail and explanatory copy became filler and had little to no impact on the initial decision making. In fact, the study’s eye tracking technology shows that recruiters spent about 6 seconds on their initial “fit/no fit” decision.

HR pros, Any thoughts on how much time you think spend on each resume? I wonder how accurate or representative this feels to all of you.

Christopher Wofford is Digital Media Producer and host of WebSeries at eCornell.
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