Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Resume Hot Spots: What Recruiters See On Your Resume

You can’t find much better resume help than this. Last month, TheLadders, a professional job site, conducted research on recruiters to find where and what they’re looking for on resumes, according to Business Insider.

What they found will shock you and make you view your resume in an entirely different light.

TheLadders study found that recruiters spend an average of six seconds on a resume before they decide whether or not it’s a good fit, reports Business Insider. The article goes on to explain that 30 recruiters were studied for a 10-week period, during which researchers used “eye-tracking” techniques to determine where on resumes these recruiters were spending the most time.

Once the study was complete, the researchers identified the six different hot spots that recruiters spend the most time on:

1. Name

2. Current title and company

3. Current position start and end dates

4. Previous title and company

5. Previous position start and end dates

6. Education

But the study didn’t just determine where recruiters were looking on the resume; it also helped to pinpoint various resume styles that worked versus those that didn’t. For instance, less seems to be better on resumes. Recruiters are better able to assess and evaluate resumes that aren’t superfluous.

Use your best judgment to determine what on your resume is the best showcase of your goals, previous work experience and education. Don’t try to impress recruiters with your extensive vocabulary. Find rich action words that best describe your responsibilities in your previous job, and use those as the anchor for your resume.

Format is just as important as the sound of your resume too. TheLadders study only confirmed this. You want those hot spots on your resume to stick out so make sure you bold the work and education sections. Also, indent, indent, indent. Separate your title and company from your previous work responsibilities by indenting. This will make it easier for recruiters to find those areas that they’re looking for.

Finally, TheLadders study confirmed one more resume tip. Don’t add visuals to your resume. Recruiters in the study stated that “such visual elements reduced recruiters’ analytical capability and hampered decision-making.” This isn’t the format for taking big risks. Let your words be enough to get noticed.

In sum, keep it simple on your resume. Don’t overdo anything. Rather, focus on tightening your resume so that the six hot spots get noticed and make a great first impression.

What do you think the most important things recruiters see on your resume? Comment below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by J Wynia

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.