What happens after 6 seconds…

There has been a lot of talk lately stating the average recruiter or hiring manager reviews a resume in six seconds. Is this actually true? If so why, and more importantly, what happens next?

If a recruiter places an advertisement on an online job board they can expect to receive somewhere from 20 to over 100 responses depending on the level of the role and the sector. Working on an average of 50 responses given 6 seconds each, add time to open the email, send a response, and add the resume to the database and you are looking at close to three or four hours of work. 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 candidate closely to the role they are trying to fill. An internal recruiter can have up to 20 or 30 roles on at any one time and an agency recruiter may be working on up to 5 or 6 roles at a time.

It is reasonable to assume that many recruiters may not have any personal experience within the industry they are recruiting for so if your resume has made it past the six seconds it needs to clearly show the ways your audience can ‘sell you’ to the right people. You need to do this by demonstrating very quickly in your resume the ‘value’ you bring to the table. An achievement or results based resume is the best way 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.

How do you ensure your resume is selling you? A results based resume should list your highlights under each role you’ve had. A highlight states what you achieved in your role rather than how you made your achievements. Show clearly what the end result was ie; increased profit margin from X% to X% or implemented x which had a direct result of $x on x. The time to talk further about how you achieved these results is when you are in front of the recruiter and then the hiring manager. By getting to the point quickly you will reduce the size of your resume, cutting out the fluff and showing potential hiring managers what you are able to achieve. Most hiring managers want to know how you are able to positively impact the bottom line. Ideally your resume should be no more than 2 or 3 pages. If you haven’t shown your value by page 2 it’s unlikely anyone is going to read further.

Recruiters and potential employers are time poor and the easier you can make their job by discovering the value you offer the better your chance to gain an interview.

To discuss more about creating an achievement based resume/CV call Michael Boyd on +61 400 454 019 at Career Crossroads International Pty Ltd, www.careercrossroadsintl.com and Student2Career Pty Ltd www.student2career.com . We assist graduates through to executives to fulfill their career goals and aspirations.

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