IT is said that the average recruiter or hiring manager reviews a resume in only six seconds.
Is this actually true? If so, why? More importantly, what happens next?
When a recruiter places an advertisement on an online job board, they can expect to receive somewhere between 20 and over 100 responses or applications, depending on the level of the role (job) and the sector.
Working on an average of 50 applications where each was given the allotted six seconds, and adding in the time to open the emails, send responses and input the resumes to the database, the average recruiter or hiring manager is looking at close to three or four hours of work for each job vacancy.
An internal recruiter can have up to 20 or 30 job vacancies on at any one time and an agency recruiter may be working on up to 5 or 6 roles at a time. It is easy to understand then why recruiters and hiring managers would only be willing to spend six seconds on reviewing a resume.
And in those six seconds, they are looking at the applicant’s current and past job titles, length of employment and who the employers are/were in an attempt to align the most suitable candidate(s) closely to the role (job) they are trying to fill.
It is also reasonable to assume that some recruiters may not have any personal experience within the industry they are recruiting for.
So if your resume were to make it past the six seconds, it needs to clearly ‘sell you’ in the right way to the right people. How do you ensure your resume is ‘selling you’ correctly?
You must demonstrate very quickly in your resume the ‘value’ you bring to the table.
An achievement or results based resume is one of the best ways to market your value and communicate quickly your ability to produce significantly better results than other qualified candidates you are competing against for the same role.
A results based resume should highlight the achievements or results you have had in each of your previous jobs or tasks. For example, instead of saying “I am a great sales person”, you should mention in your resume that “I have increased my sales volume from $X amount to $X amount in my previous/current role”.
If you have not worked in any role before, you can still draw specific achievements or results from your educational or personal background. Instead of saying “I have good time management skills”, you can share that you were able to “complete X number of major class projects/assignments and deliver them within deadlines”.
Keep your achievement/result highlights brief and to the point. The time to talk further about how you achieved these results is when you are in front of the recruiter or the hiring manager.
By getting to the point quickly, you will reduce the size of your resume, cut out the fluff and show potential hiring managers what you are able to achieve. Most hiring managers want to quickly know how you are able to positively impact the bottom line.
Ideally your resume should be no more than two or three pages. If you haven’t shown your value by Page 2, it is unlikely anyone is going to read further to find it.
Recruiters and potential employers are time poor. The easier you can make their job of discovering the value you offer, the better your chance to gain an interview.