The 6-Second Resume is NOT a Myth

Nancy Anderson
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The statistic about recruiters spending an average of only six seconds looking at each resume is quoted so often that many people assume it's a myth. However, research has shown that it is completely true. It's important to consider when writing a resume how to grab a recruiter's attention quickly and focus it on the most important points.

When writing a resume, you need to include essential keywords and phrases that the recruiter seeks. You can work out which keywords to include by looking at the job description. If the job description states that strong communication skills are a requirement, you should list communication as one of your strengths and give an example of a time you demonstrated an exceptional ability to communicate.

It's a good idea to include relevant keywords in the section headings when writing a resume. For example, if you are applying for a job as a project manager, it makes sense to replace the general Experience heading on your resume with one that reads Project Management Experience. This makes it obvious to the recruiter that you are a suitable candidate for the role. If you have other experience you want to include, you can add another section subhead titled Other Experience.

Have you worked for any well-known companies? If so, make sure their names are included when writing a resume, preferably in bold or in all caps. Recruiters notice household brands such as Google or Apple when they appear on a resume and are likely to take a minute to see what you did during your employment there.

Finally, don't be afraid to let your quirks show when writing a resume. Although you want to keep the bulk of the content focused tightly on your professional achievements, interesting details — such as an unusual minor or a quirky side business — could tweak a recruiter's interest and help your resume to stick in her mind.

Consider structuring your resume as a personal branding story. This involves starting your resume by stating your target job title, then giving a succinct summary of your career. You can include the usual information about your past positions in a series of short bullet points.

Although it can be tempting to squeeze as much information as possible into your resume, documents that are too cramped can be very difficult to read, which could mean that recruiters pass over them. When writing a resume, make sure you include plenty of white space. This could involve using bullet points to improve readability.

Attracting and holding a recruiter's attention is tough. Using some of these tips to highlight your qualifications, experiences and skills when writing a resume can give you an edge with recruiters.

Photo courtesy of woodlywonderworks at



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  • Kris Tufts
    Kris Tufts

    If true those are not the type of recruiters I want to work with anyway, since it's likely they're not listening to clients or candidates.

  • Ray  G.
    Ray G.


  • Loretta F.
    Loretta F.


  • Luis  B.
    Luis B.


  • Mark  L.
    Mark L.


  • Adam H.
    Adam H.

    It is a good idea

  • James Faughnan
    James Faughnan

    Basically, if your don't waste hours customizing your resume for every app you're screwed.

  • Willie A.
    Willie A.

    sure,i know

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