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How Long Do Employers Look At Resumes

Give Them A Connection Story

What Do Employers Look for in a Resume?

When someone asks what you do, dont just say, My name is Rob, and Im a cyber security engineer from Charlotte, North Carolina. Instead use a connection story, which gives somebody a true glimpse into who you are, explains Amanda Marko, a strategic communications consultant, in Entrepreneur. Were you always running lemonade stands as a kid? Link that to how you knew from an early age that you wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Stories are also important when it comes to your resume. No matter the level of the candidate, someone just out of college or a very senior executive, its okay if someone works in various industries and jumps around a bit and gains different experiences, says Eva Freidan, a product leadership recruiter at . But at the end of the day, what is the common thread throughout this persons career?

If you are a pharmacy manager turned sales manager, make sure to explain this transition.

Resume Format : Functional Resumes

Functional resumes focus more on relevant skills than work history. While the chronological format highlights work experience with detailed summaries of the achievements within each position, the functional format focuses on the applicants skill set relevant to the role you are applying for.

  • Additional information

Why Are These The Best Resume Formats

These three resume formats are some of the best options because theyre easy to read and the most likely to be processed through an ATS without critical errors.

Recruiters often have to review many resumes for a single open role. They can read a resume in a standard format more easily and thoroughly because they know where to find the information theyre looking for. For example, if a role requires a specific skill, a recruiter will look for it in your skills section included either above or below your work experience. They have a limited amount of time to spend reviewing each resume, so they may move on and assume you dont possess the qualification if it takes too long to find the right information.

Also, most applicant tracking systems will perform a more accurate review of your resume if the format is simple, straightforward and follows a few basic rules. The three resume formats discussed in this article mostly adhere to these best practices, though some ATS may have difficulties scanning a functional resume, and can help ensure that your resume is successfully processed through an ATS review.

Related:13 Best Practices for Beating an Applicant Tracking System

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Is This Study Reliable

Whilst this study certainly has a stronger foundation then the Ladders study, Im not convinced it gives us a definitive answer to the question how long do recruiters spend looking at your CV?

The fact that they have used their databases user activity should provide a reliable source of recruiter activity. However, without knowing anything else about how the study was carried out, its difficult to say how accurate the results are.

Most importantly they have not told us how many recruiters were studied and how many CVs they were tasked with reading.

These are two vital details to omit from a write up of a study like this, because they have such a big impact on how conclusive the findings are.

For example, if they studied 1 recruiter reading 1 CV the findings would be completely useless, whereas a study of 1,000 recruiters reading 1,000 CVs would give us much more meaningful average figures.

But, if we assume that Workopolis sampled a large enough number of recruiters and CVs then this study does give us a good indication of how long recruiters are spending reviewing CVs.

What If The Employer Has A Mindset Against Spending Any Time On A Resume

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When I spoke at a college on Diversity on the Workplace, this 6-second question came up and a hiring professional in the back said she only spends 3 seconds.

Someone who spends 3 seconds on resumes sounds like she doesnt care. The potential is throwing out resumes of people who potentially could be the best employees.

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What Is A Soft Skill On A Resume

Mildness of temper is a skill that depends on how you treat and treat others. Simple skills include communication, collaboration as well as other interpersonal skills. Employers are looking for soft skills in the industry because these skills are difficult to train and are essential for long-term success.

What is a skill? Mild skills are a combination of social skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, work ethic, social intelligence, and emotional intelligence that enable employees to move their community, work well with others, do well and achieve their goals

What is the toughest and easiest skill for a man? Complex skills are learned and can be measured, such as writing, reading, math or computer programming. Conflict, a skill is a skill that makes you a good employee, such as character, communication and listening, interaction with other people.

What Are The Most Popular Resume Formats

The three most common resume formats are chronological, functional and combination. When deciding which resume format you should use, consider your professional history and the role youre applying for. For example, if you have limited work experience, you might instead focus on academic work, volunteer positions or apprenticeships with a functional resume instead of a chronological resume, which prioritizes job history.In the next sections, well explore each resume format type in detail, including which is best based on common job search situations.

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You Didnt Customize Your Application To The Open Position

In todays tough job market, every resume should be crafted in response to the requested experience and responsibilities listed in the job description. Youll want to take the time to tailor your cover letter and resume to the job at hand.

This not only helps you make it through the applicant tracking system, but also shows the employer you are truly interested in the job and are willing to put in the work to prove it. Not customizing your application can make it look like you arent putting in effortand thats never the message you want to send.

Resume Format : Combination Resumes

What do Employers look for in a Resume? Watch this BEFORE applying

A combination resume is a blend of the chronological and functional resume types. This resume format allows you to emphasize both your work experience and relevant skills. Because your skills and employment history will consume most of your resume space, you may need to eliminate optional sections such as a summary statement, volunteer work or special interests.

A combination resume format usually includes the following information in this order:

  • Contact information
  • Summary of most relevant skills
  • Work experience
  • Education

The combination resume is a more flexible format, so you should list either your skills or your work experience first depending on which you consider more important for the role. For example, if you have many unique skills that are especially valuable to the industry in which youre applying to work, you might consider listing them above your work experience. It can also be helpful to look for clues in the job posting to understand what is most important for the employer in an ideal candidate.

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Employers View Resumes For Fewer Than 11 Seconds

Employers search the Workopolis database 16,000 times a day looking at candidate resumes each search resulting in multiple resume views. Many more thousands of resumes are also submitted in online job applications. Workopolis can see in real-time how many resumes employers look at, and how long they spend on each resume page before saving it or moving on.

Nearly 80% of resumes dont make the first cut. Employers shortlist an average of two out of every ten resumes viewed. This corresponds with our recent candidate survey where most people say that they applied to 10 opportunities before being hired for their most recent job.

Your application has to make an impression fast. Nearly 60% of employers spend just 11 seconds or less on the resume page before either saving or downloading it, or moving on.

Even those resumes that are selected have very little time to make an impression.The resumes that are shortlisted by employers are viewed for 25 per cent longer than those that are immediately passed over.

Only about 14 per cent of recruiters spend more than one minute looking at a resume page.

Everything moves quickly on the Internet. Think about when you conduct a Google search. You can see in the titles and descriptions on the search results page that many of the findings dont match what youre looking for so you never click on them. Then of the pages you do check out, most will only get a quick scan to see if they contain the information youre after.

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When To Use A Chronological Resume

A chronological resume is a good choice for anyone whose employment history shows a consistent, advancing career path. For example, you might select a chronological resume format if youve spent the past several years in the same industry and each role youve held was more senior than the last. Its also often used by people who are applying to a position in the same or similar field to the majority of their work experience.

However, if you have multiple gaps in your employment history, youre looking to change careers or your work experience is heavily varied, you may want to consider a functional or combination resume.

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Dont Restrict Work Experience To Work

Recently out of college with little work experience? Consider including major projects and papers you worked on as a student. Group projects and large research papers can involve the types of skills that many employers are after: communication, writing skills, time management, focus, project management, teamwork and research just to name a few, Reynolds said.

It can be tricky to decide where to place this kind of experience on your resume, but if the work youve done has largely occurred in an academic setting, the experts recommend listing it separately under a Relevant Experience section. Use titles like research partner, strategy lead, or project manager, and make clear any time restrictions you were bound by to emphasize that you are comfortable working on a deadline.

Prospective employers will be impressed by your ability to connect the dots from the classroom to the real world and communicate value beyond an assignments scope.

Pro tip: Only highlight projects that are relevant to a potential role.

What Studies Have Been Done Into How Long Recruiters Spend Reading Your Cv

Free Collection 58 What Employers Look for In A Resume ...

If you search online for an answer to how long do recruiters spend reading my CV? almost every page in the results will tell you 6-8 seconds or something near to that time length.

They are numbers quoted by almost every major job board and news site from Glassdoor and Business Insider, to Reed and The Guardian.

But what is it this figure based on? And why has the careers industry fixated on it for so long?

Most media mentions of the 6-8 seconds statistic cite one of the following 2 studies as sources.

  • Ladders eye-tracking study USA
  • Workopolis recruiter database study Canada

These are both large reputable careers companies, but its worth noting that neither are UK based and the research was all carried out several years ago.

Lets take a close look at each study to determine how accurate and reliable they are.

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2. Customization

The candidate’s resume and cover letter should align with the job description and requirements. The resume should clearly state and show work experience, education, skills and achievements that relate to the specific job opening or application. The candidate’s cover letter should convey why the candidate is interested in the company and what makes the candidate a good fit for the job. – Ochuko Dasimaka, Career Heights Consulting, Inc.

3. Effective Communication

I am drawn to a clearly-written resume/application. For those candidates that include an objective statement in their resume, I want to be able to immediately see strengths, background/skills highlights, and industries they have worked in. If this is well-written, I will review the resume further. Otherwise, the candidate most likely won’t move forward. – Kathy Short, Yorktown Systems Group

Forbes Human Resources Council is an invitation-only organization for HR executives across all industries. Do I qualify?

4. Ability To Follow Directions

5. Previous Job Description

Some candidates will list out their job descriptions in their duties, which look highly like the ones they were probably given upon hire. Wording duties like “processes invoices” rather than “process invoices” tells me they more than likely copied and pasted the responsibilities for that job rather than taking the time to tell me what they really do . – Kerri Johnson, Foam Supplies, Inc.

6. Sense Of Authenticity And Self

9. Storytelling

Things Employers Look For In Resumes

After being at your first entry-level job for over a year, youre ready for change. You feel like youve stopped growing in your current position and determined a new job would be the best way to advance your career.

One day, you get home from work and turn on your laptop. You pull up the latest version of your resume and realize it hasnt been updated since you started your current position. Shocked , you notice this resume doesnt reflect your new address, accomplishments from your current job, or recent community involvement.

As you begin to make edits to your resume, you start to wonder, Where do I even start?

When updating your resume , think with the employer in mind. A March 2014 CareerBuilder survey of about 2,200 hiring managers discovered one in six respondents spend 30 seconds or less reviewing resumes.

The harsh truth is you dont have much time to impress employers. Hiring managers only care about the value you have to offer as a candidate. Here are four things employers will notice immediately when they read your resume:

1. Keyword research.

First and foremost, employers want to know if youre qualified for the job. Hiring managers spend most of their time skimming through resumes to identify keywords that match the job description.

2. Embellished skills.

3. Overall career progression.

4. Personal brand and online presence.

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Can I Talk To Hr About Quitting

This is not to say an HR professional will never keep a resignation-related discussion confidential. Approach the conversation knowing your resignation could create a hardship for other employees as well as the employer. As such, the HR representative might be impelled to pass the information to management.

Things To Look For When You Screen A Resume

Ways to make your resume shine

Do you have a towering stack of resumes on your desk or sitting in your email inbox? Its your job to read and analyze all of those resumes in an attempt to pick your next employee. How do you sort through those resumes to choose the best employees to invite to the interview round? It can certainly be daunting task unless you know how to screen a resume quickly and efficiently.

Reading resumes and selecting the best candidate isnt an exact science. In a perfect world, you would sit down and review ever single resume for 4 or 5 minutes. This gives you time to read every word, consult a candidates web presence, and make a well-informed decisions on that candidates ability to do the job. But how long do you really spend reviewing a resume?

If youre like the majority of recruiters, you probably spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume. According to a report from, most recruiters only spend 6 seconds reviewing a resume before they make an opinion on a candidate. Thats not very much time at all.

Whether you spend six seconds or a minute, here are the things you need to pay attention to when you screen a resume to select the best candidate:

  • Contact Details Contact info is vital for communication with a job candidate. They need a name, address, phone number, and professional email address.
  • Web Presence A link or website address is a huge addition to any resume as it shows that the candidate can show you more than just a simple resume file.
  • Job Hopping
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    Keep Your Cover Letter Personal

    Last but not least, lets talk about cover letters. For these, you want to capture the readers attention right away. One foolproof way to do this is to address the reader by their actual title.

    You can usually find this information through a professional networking site like LinkedIn. Robbins recommended identifying a shortlist of 15 to 25 target employers. Reach out to current employees in similar roles. Remember, though, that online networking is not unlike real-life networking, so pitching yourself early isnt usually a good idea, she said. Take time to build trust and engage with others in a supportive way. Let people know youre available and would love to be considered for a current opening.

    A few suggestions:

    • I noticed from your LinkedIn profile that youve been at the company for X years. What do you love most about being there? What has kept you from pursuing work somewhere else?
    • On the company careers page, I read that X is one of your company values. What does that look like for someone in your role? How do you see it in practice?
    • Are there any skills or practices that youd recommend I brush up on to find a role like yours at your company?

    Now ask yourself, Knowing this, how can I contribute to those areas if I were hired for the role? What makes my contribution unique? Write that in your cover letter.


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