It’s True – Recruiters Really Only Spend Seconds on a Resume

In an eye tracking study conducted by The Ladders, they found that recruiters spend only mere seconds on a resume….6 seconds to be exact.

Why? Because recruiters look at hundreds of resumes, and if they can’t tell that you are a viable candidate, or if they have to go searching your resume for what they are looking for, they will just move on to the next one. You only have 6 seconds to impress them and grab their attention. So what can you do to keep recruiters interested in you?

  1. The most relevant information should always come first. This means you will need to create a personalized resume for every job you apply for. Look at the job description and match your bullet points to the responsibilities. Stick with 5-7 bullet points per position, any more and your resume becomes too wordy and unreadable.
  2. Speaking of…readability is key. This means creating a resume that is consistent throughout. Your education should be formatted the same way as your work experience section. Include organizations that are pertinent in the tech transfer world. Keep your resume clean and simple, and consider a font that is professional, yet readable. Some suggestions: Times New Roman, Palatino Linotype, or Cambria.
  3. Keep it simple. Unless they ask for a curriculum vitae, you don’t need a life history, (which is another topic altogether). Stick with your past positions that pertain to this role. If you want to include additional experiences, create a section called “Additional Work Experience” and put the less relevant positions there.
  4. Forgo the colors and graphics. Colors, graphics, and an artistic approach to your resume would be important if you are applying for marketing or graphic design positions. In the intellectual property licensing world, these are distracting and unnecessary. What you have accomplished in your roles is much more important than a colorful resume.
  5. Be searchable on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is like your master resume. If a recruiter is interested in you, they will want to learn more.  LinkedIn is a great place to put additional information about yourself and links to projects, awards, or presentations you have given.

A resume is your foot in the door with a company. It is often the first impression they receive of you, so make sure you are putting your best self forward with a clear, concise, and consistent resume. Make the recruiter spend more than 6 seconds with your document and impress them with resume. A great resume can lead to an interview, which could then land you your dream job. Don’t let something as simple as a bad resume keep you from that.

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