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Does Your Resume Pass the 6-Second Test?

In today’s competitive job market, it should come as no surprise that recruiters are often pressed for time when reviewing the loads of job applications they receive for each open position.

In fact, studies have shown that, on average, a recruiter scans each resume for only 6 seconds before deciding if it belongs in the trash. In other words, you only get six seconds to make the right impression.

Does your resume pass the 6 second test? Ask yourself the following questions to find out.

How often do I receive a response to my online job applications?

If you’re applying to jobs you’re qualified for and rarely receive a response, then your resume may need some professional help.

Most job applications must pass through a software program known as an applicant tracking system (ATS) before they make their way to the hiring manager. If you don’t have an ATS-friendly resume, there’s a good chance your application is getting stuck in these electronic filters and lost in the infamous resume black hole.

Do recruiters contact me about positions that interest me?

If recruiters regularly contact you about job opportunities in which you have no interest, then your resume may be sending mixed signals about your goals.

A good resume is written with a specific job goal in mind. It should not only state your job target towards the top of the page, but the entire document should be framed in a way that calls attention to your value and relevant qualifications.

If you’re interested in changing careers, getting back into a field you haven’t been in for many years, or taking your career to the next level, your resume will need to be reconfigured to support this new goal.

Does my resume pass the stranger test?

If you were to have a random stranger review the top third of your resume for no more than 30 seconds, would they be able to easily identify your job goals and qualifications? If so, your resume is on the right track. If not, then your resume still needs some TLC.

Have I optimised my resume with keywords?

Every line of work has its own set of terms that describe their field. Applicant tracking systems are programmed to look for these resume keywords to rank your application and determine if you’re a good fit for the role.

In order to make it past these initial reviews, it’s very important to incorporate relevant keywords throughout your resume.

Am I emphasising my achievements?

Depending upon how your resume is worded, you may come across as a “doer” rather than an “achiever.” This is something employers — and resume writers — are always looking out for. Take a second look at how you describe your work experience and make sure you’re emphasising the results you’ve achieved, rather than the tasks you’ve been assigned.

If you’re having trouble wording your contributions or quantifying your accomplishments, you may want to ask a professional resume writer for advice.

Does my digital footprint match my resume?

It’s not enough to have a killer resume. Employers also expect you to tell a consistent story about your work experience and job goals online as well. In fact, 93 percent of recruiters will review your online presence before they decide to interview you.

As a result, it’s important to develop a fleshed out online profile that lines up with your resume to support your goals. If you’re unsure how to translate your work history and education into marketable qualifications online and on paper, consider seeking out a professional resume writer for help.

Need help with your resume? Take advantage of our free critique today!

Author Carolyn Whitfield

6X TORI-Winning, Multi-Certified Resume Master & Coach ★ 12+ Yrs Expertise ★ 98% Client Interview-Winning Success Rate. As an executive resume expert who has carved a strong reputation in the resume industry, I’ve helped thousands of rising stars and executives worldwide ascend to the next step on the career ladder.

More posts by Carolyn Whitfield

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