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