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6 Second Resume Scan: What Recruiters are Looking For


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Yes, this is how it (mostly) is. In Tech field add a Skills section to the the sequence.

"There’s a famous statistic that gives hiring managers and human resources professionals a bad rap; your resume will be judged in 6 seconds.

Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear that the odds are not in your favor unless you can communicate your value in a matter of seconds.

So in order to beat the 6 second clock, what magic pixie dust do you need to sprinkle on your resume to make it stand out?"

Most important by far:

Your Most Recent Employer and Job Title – Here is where the reader is looking for relevancy and fit. If your current or most recent job title doesn’t logically progress or relate to the role you applied for, your chances just got shot. For example, if you are punching above your weight and applying for a role that is 2, 3, 4 steps above you, the reader will stop and move on to the next one. It makes sense for a Sr. Manager to apply for a Director role or even another Sr. Manager role. Next, they are also looking at your job function. Are you in marketing and applying for a marketing role? Or are you in a completely different area? This is a challenge for career changers, so for tips on this section, read this article. They are also looking at your current or most recent employer. This will clue them in on the scope of the work you have done – as well as the industry.

Most times I read articles like this and find they are lacking or even worse, make your resume even worse.  This article is actually pretty good.

As someone who has gone thru thousands of resumes and profiles this year, I'd add a step 2.5:

How many years experience do you have doing the role you are applying for.

It's one of the biggest relevant points with regard to the decision making process.  

"2012 dec-2015 jan" means I have to do mental math and that kind of counts against the time I have to look at the other bullet points.  

"2012 dec-2015 jan (2+ years)" let's me bucket appropriately.

That is OUTSTANDING advice, Matt. Thank you for sharing!

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