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The Six Second Decision

A recent study says that recruiters look at your resume for six seconds on average.  They look at current job, title, start and end dates.  Then they look at previous job, start and end dates.  That’s it.

Like most studies we see these days it is flawed in that it studied recruiters but it isn’t a study that was done by recruiters.  Yes, without a doubt recruiters look at many resumes for six seconds and then are done.  That’s because a lot of resumes don’t fit the position or involve rapid movement in the last couple of jobs.

The first thing that will eliminate a candidate for a position is if they are clearly not a fit.  For example, a VP of Sales for a semiconductor company will not be a fit for a Design Engineer role with a consumer goods manufacturer.  Funny, but we all see resumes that are that far off.  The second thing is consistently quick movement, especially in the recent work history.  In general, companies just don’t want to take the risk that the person will move again soon.  If a candidate is not a possibility for a position then a recruiter will move on as quickly as possible.  Six seconds or less is best.

Once past these or other eliminating factors, resumes get a much longer look.


Todd Kmiec

Todd Kmiec and Associates



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