Finally, it is time to announce the results of the 6 Second Resume Challenge! With over 9,000 participants and counting, we are ready to put the 6 second resume myth to bed. If you haven’t taken the challenge yet, make sure to click the link above and come back when you’re finished.
Scroll down to find out who scored better: the Average Joes or the Professional Recruiters.
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Recruiters Can’t actually Judge a Resume in 6 Seconds – and what that means for you
Resume Genius has BUSTED a popular myth claiming that recruiters can judge resumes in 6 seconds.
How did we bust it? With an experiment. We pitted average joes against professional recruiters to find out which group can better judge a resume within 6 seconds. The results were amusing.
We presented average joes and professional recruiters with a task: sort through 10 resumes, keeping good candidates and trashing bad ones.
The challenge? They only had 6 seconds to judge each resume. We spread the word across the web, and the data started pouring in.
9,000 Participants – Overall Score: 5.5/10
7,000 Average Joes – Score: 5.7/10 WINNER!
2,000 Recruiters – Score: 5.2/10 LOSER 🙁
You are seeing that correctly. Average joes scored higher than professional recruiters. Not that it matters. If this were a pop quiz in high school, everyone would be earning an F — so no one earns bragging rights.
What went so wrong for everyone?
The answer is obvious: there is too much content on a resume to be judged accurately in 6 seconds. Therefore, people had to rely on resume formatting and aesthetics to make a judgement. If you’re a professional recruiter, you know that’s only a small part of judging a resume. But it obviously has a huge impact.
In fact, here’s how big that impact is. We found that if a resume is well-formatted, we found that a resume had a 25% higher chance of being kept within the first 6 seconds – even if the person was an obviously bad candidate. We found people keeping resumes that featured:
- A massively overqualified candidates
- Ridiculous amounts of spelling errors
- Missing Contact Details
So if there are HRs actually judging resumes within 6 seconds, they probably won’t be HRs much longer.
Fortunately, only 21% of people said that 6 seconds is enough time to judge a resume. For some exceptionally fast readers or highly experienced HRs, this may be true…
But you can’t deny the facts. On average, everyone scores a 5/10. An F. So let’s put this myth to bed — recruiters can’t judge resumes in 6 seconds, and nor should they try to.
But there is still one major lesson to be learned from our challenge — making a good first impression on the recruiter improves your resume’s chances by 25% in the first 6 seconds.
Next Step – How to Make a Strong First Impression:
- Use an easy-to-read font
- Maintain a balance white space-to-text ratio
- Apply proportional margins – 1 inch is standard
- Use lines to break up the text
- Make sure all your bullet points are evenly aligned
- Add a bit of color