Listen to the Episode
Is it a myth or fact that recruiters spend six seconds on your resume? While it’s true that recruiters face a high volume of resumes, the key to get them to spend more than six seconds on your resume is to give them a reason to. To stand out and make them want to learn more about you, you must make sure the information in your resume attracts their attention and the design and layout of your resume makes it easy for them to actually read it.
Many candidates who believe the six second resume myth create a resume that’s impossible to read or only scratches the surface because they try to fit it on one page. However, a one page resume will convey the depth of your sell your skills and experience and as a result, you’ll sell yourself short to recruiters and hiring managers.
In this episode of the podcast, you’ll learn the importance of both design and content when crafting a resume that demands attention and how to create visual hierarchy, using font sizes effectively to draw attention to essential sections such as your name, job title, and about me statement.
If you’re apply to jobs and not getting interviews, it might be because you wrote and designed your resume in a way that did not consider the users of your resume. Listen to the episode or read the transcript below to learn what will make recruiters and hiring managers spend more than six seconds with your resume.
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Discussion Questions About The Episode
- How does the idea that recruiters and hiring managers spend only 6 seconds on your resume challenge or change your current approach to resume writing?
- Reflect on your own resume. Does it effectively communicate your experiences and accomplishments, or does it read more like a list of responsibilities? How might you reframe your bullet points to make them more impactful?
- Consider the design of your resume. How can you create a visually appealing and easy-to-read format that encourages recruiters and hiring managers to spend more than 6 seconds on it?
- Think about the concept of design hierarchy in a resume. How might you prioritize and highlight certain sections to catch the attention of recruiters and make a strong first impression?
- In your opinion, are recruiters and hiring managers really spending only 6 seconds on resumes? Or is it a result of resumes failing to stand out and engage their interest? How can you make your resume the one that captures their attention and prompts them to spend more time considering your qualifications?
Episode Notes & Links
Here are a few episodes, articles, and videos mentioned in the podcast episode and that we thought of after we recorded the episode! Hope these resources help you with your resume:
Sarah Doody [00:00:00]: Hey there. I’m Sarah Doody, host of the Career Strategy Podcast. Many professionals are seeking more impact, flexibility, growth, and let’s face it, getting paid what they’re worth. But how do you unlock this in your career? It starts with strategy. I’m taking you behind the scenes of what’s working for my career coaching clients. You’ll hear strategies and actionable, yet sometimes against the grain, advice for how you can be the CEO of your career and stop in Mondays. Ready to level up your career? Let’s get after it. Welcome back to another episode of Career Strategy Podcast.
Sarah Doody [00:00:42]: And today, we have a very controversial topic, and that is, Do recruiters and hiring managers really spend only 6 seconds on your resume? Is this a myth or is this a fact? Alright. Spoiler alert. I’m just gonna tell you. I think it’s a total myth. And in this episode, I will explain all my thoughts behind this. And hopefully, by the end of the episode, you will have the information you need to decide for yourself. Is this a myth or is it a fact? Alright. So often when you log in to social media or ask people for advice about your resume, So many people say they only spend 6 seconds with your resume, and this is why you should be really brief, Keep everything short and keep it to 1 page.
Sarah Doody [00:01:35]: Let’s think this through a little bit more. So there is some truth to that, but we have to look at the whole experience of an actual recruiter or hiring manager. Now let’s put ourselves in their shoes. Imagine they’re hiring for a role, and they log in to review all the candidates. And there’s 200, 300, 400 candidates. The idea that they’re going to read all of those resumes is just not realistic. Right? They’re not. They don’t have that kind of time.
Sarah Doody [00:02:07]: So the idea that, hey, you should try and make your resume shorter because they’re not gonna read it, so just give them the highlight reel, and then you can say more in the interview. Alright. We need to hit pause there because in order to get the interview, You need to stand out from the other candidates, and you’re not going to stand out if your resume sounds like everyone else’s, like a list of responsibilities, vague, vague statements about what you’ve done and what you’re responsible for, and it doesn’t go into the details of what you actually did. So on your resume, I want you to ditch this fear that you can’t be a little longer, that every bullet point needs to be only 1 line long, that your resume can only be 1 page because this is totally false. Because as I said a few seconds ago, if we want to get an interview, Our resume needs to do some heavy lifting to help us stand out from other candidates, and we’re not gonna do that if our bullet points are very surface level and we’re not giving people a reason to spend more than 6 seconds on our resume, and that’s the goal. So how do we do that? There’s a couple of things we need to think about. Number 1, we need to think about this through the lens of the literal design of your resume, and then we need to think about it through the lens of the content. So if we want people to spend more than 6 seconds, we need to design an experience that is our resume that will encourage them to actually spend more than 6 seconds, to want to spend more time learning about us.
Sarah Doody [00:03:58]: We need to catch their attention, but then we also need to get them interested so they stay longer than 6 seconds. Now I don’t have time to teach you everything about designing your resume and writing your resume in this podcast episode, so let’s go over a few really high level but high impact, things you can think about on your resume. Number 1, when it comes to the design, I want you to ditch the idea that your resume can only be 1 page. We did this in another episode, and we’ll link to it in the show notes. But when your resume is only 1 page, you’re only scratching the surface, which means you’re not going to stand out. You’re gonna sound like every other candidate. And worse, your resume probably is in a very small font, which was your solution to trying to make it fit all on 1 page. And guess what? If your resume is in a super small font, No one can read it.
Sarah Doody [00:04:52]: So why are they gonna wanna spend more than 6 seconds if they have to squint and can barely read anything on your resume? Right? The other thing that a lot of people miss though when it comes to their resume is the idea of designing your resume in a way that creates what we call in design hierarchy, meaning giving certain parts of your resume slightly larger font sizes so that they stand out, which is the idea of hierarchy. People’s attention will go to those things on your resume first. So example, Your name at the top, your job title, and your about me statement should be slightly larger font size than the rest of your resume, say your bullet points, skills, etcetera. And that is just one way that you can tweak The design of your resume to encourage people to spend more than 6 seconds on it. Another thing you need to be mindful of though is the content, meaning the words, the information on your resume. So as I said earlier, If your resume sounds like every other candidate’s if it is just a list of responsibilities, I was responsible for sales, I was responsible for user research. I was responsible for booking new clients, whatever it was. If your work experience section Kind of sounds like a responsibility list on a job description.
Sarah Doody [00:06:21]: You are doing it wrong. Instead of responsibilities, We want to see examples of how you carried out those responsibilities, and that’s how you make more impactful bullet points on your resume. And if you write your resume bullet points in that way, guess what? People are going to be inclined to want to learn more about you because it doesn’t just sound like a job description. Right? So if we want people to spend more than 6 seconds on our resume, We need to focus on the design and the content. And if we do so, we’re going to give people a reason to actually start to read our resume and not just be quickly skimming through it and getting just a few words here and there. And that is how you end up actually getting interviews because your resume is able to catch people’s attention and then keep them interested enough long enough to learn the information they need to realize, wait a second. This candidate is way different than the other people that have applied, and we better get them in for an interview soon so they don’t get snatched up by another company. Alright.
Sarah Doody [00:07:39]: There you have it. Now it’s up to you to decide, do recruiters and hiring managers Really only spend 6 seconds on your resume? Or is it a situation of they’re only spending 6 seconds because you’re not giving them a reason to spend more time learning about you. So I hope that you have some actionable takeaways you could implement on your resume right now or at least go back and examine it and figure out maybe why you’re not getting interviews right now. If you found this episode helpful, I would really appreciate it if you took 30 seconds to give us a rating. It’s super simple. You’re just gonna go to rate this podcast .com / c s p, and then you’ll be able to give us a star rating. Or, of course, Just go to whatever app you’re listening to this on right now and give us a star rating. If you have time, feel free to write a review as well, but we really, really value those star ratings because that tells Apple, Spotify, etcetera, how valuable people find the podcast, and then they tell more people about the podcast, which is what we hope you do so we can help more people advance against their careers with our no nonsense straight to the point tips for people at all career stages.
Sarah Doody [00:09:05]: Right. Have a great rest of your day, and I will talk to you in the next episode. Thanks for listening to the Career Strategy Podcast. Make sure to follow me, Sarah Doody, on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn. If If anything in today’s episode resonated with you, I’d love to hear about it. Tag me on social media or send me a DM. And lastly, if you found this episode helpful, Well, I’d really appreciate it if you could share it with a friend or give us a quick rating on Spotify or review on Apple Podcasts.