Sending out your resume?  Be prepared to share it with a VERY busy recruiter.

TheLadders used eye-tracking software to study how 30,000 recruiters looked at resumes.  They discovered that recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds on a resume before making a decision.

Here are a few simple hacks to make your resume easy to read in 7.4 seconds:

  • Keep it to 1.5 pages in length.  Summarize whole jobs into 1 single line, if necessary.
  • More white space is better.  TheLadders found that “cluttered” resumes packed with information performed the worst, while more white space did better.
  • Use an easy-to-read font.  Sans serif fonts (like Calibri, Tahoma, Arial) work really well for resumes.
  • Don’t make the font too small.  Instead of squeezing in more content with a small font, stick with an 11-pt. or 12-pt. font for bullets and body text.
  • Use bullets.  3-5 bullets under a job title work better than a long paragraph.
  • Bold the job titles.  “Recruiters scan for job titles and subheads,” according to their 2018 study.
  • Use numbers.  Numbers, percentages, dollars, and statistics about your performance (for example, “Serviced 53 customers/day” or “Sold $100,000 of equipment in 1 year”) grab the recruiter’s attention, and tell a story about your achievements.
  • Don’t use pictures.  TheLadders discovered that recruiters literally cannot stop staring at a picture—and will waste 20% of your precious 7.4 seconds looking at it.
  • Shorten words and phrases. Use shorthand like “incl.,” “can’t,” “implemented/executed.”


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