As the Daily Muse reports, the career experts at TheLadders recently used eye-tracking software to find out what recruiters look for in resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and the news is both good and bad. Starting with the latter: Hiring managers only spend about six seconds viewing any single profile, and that hardly seems like enough time to assess a candidate’s skills and experience and make a reasoned decision. Luckily, there are things you can do to make those six seconds count.
According to Muse editor Erin Greenawald, the study results reveal three things you can do to make your resume or LinkedIn profile stand out. They’re fairly intuitive tips, and you may have heard them before, but it never hurts to bone up on this useful information. It just might help you land the job of your dreams.
1. Pick a Good Pic — Recruiters apparently spend 19 percent of their time looking at pictures, so when you upload yours, be sure to choose an image that shows you’re “professional, likable, and great at what you do,” as Greenawald puts it. This is no time for duck-face selfies, in other words.
2. Just the Facts — After recruiters are done looking at your photo, they tend to look at your current job title, the start and end dates at your past employers, and your educational background. They usually just scan the rest, so while you should still use some descriptive text, the key is to keep things short and sweet. Try using bullets to highlight experience rather than writing giant paragraphs.
3. Keep It Standard — Recruiters like professionally written resumes, the study shows, but as Greenawald writes, that doesn’t mean you have to drop big bucks to have your CV reworked. Just make sure you present the information as clearly as possible, and follow a fairly standard template.