I heard the Wall Street Journal did a study and found that the average resume is reviewed in 5.7 seconds. Years ago it was 10 to 12 seconds. People must be reading faster.
The reason for the increase in speed is probably that so many unqualified people send in resumes these days. At one point at AGI we stopped all advertising and stopped putting our jobs out on the major internet job boards because of the unqualified responses. It took too long to slog through them.
That glut of useless resumes makes it easy for your resume to stand out. Here’s how you make it happen.
Take the job lead you are submitting your resume for. Make sure that anyone glancing at your resume can see that you have the major skills. For programmers that means putting the languages and skills you used where they can’t be missed in 5.7 seconds. For accountants, your expertise that applies to this particular job must jump out. Salespeople need to show how good they are at a glance. Whatever makes you the best bet for the job you are applying for must stand out.
This means you may need 2 or 3 slightly different resumes. Maybe you just need to rearrange the bullet points. Try bolding the words that describe skills asked for in the ad. Put white space around the critical skill sets. Change which keywords are emphasized. Do something to get your resume past that initial 5.7 to 15 second review.
In a sea of useless resumes, you can make yours stand out and get read if you are willing to put in the effort.
Something to do today
For the next 5 times you send off your resume, give it an examination first. Take the job order and see if YOU can find the most important skills and qualifications on your resume in 5.7 seconds. If you can’t, no one can.