Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Does your Resume Pass the 6-Second Test? Put Yourself in the HR Hot Seat

According to a famous study by The Ladders, the average HR professional takes only 6 seconds to determine whether to trash or keep your resume.

Overall, it’s a fascinating and commendable piece of research, and a great starting point towards a more scientific approach towards resume writing.

With that said…

6 seconds? Really? On a gut level, a 6-second decision seems rash or even impossible? Do you think your resume would pass the 6-Second Test? If not, don’t worry. You can try testing this yourself here.

Now, you’ve likely realized how a crappy resume can be instantly judged, and a well-written, nicely formatted one can be deceivingly “perfect.”

So, it’s time to learn how to deceive a little :wink:.

The 4 Keys to Ultimate Resume Deception

1. Use a clean resume template

Hiring managers aren’t looking for originality or creativity in your resume template — they just want to be able to find and consume relevant information as quickly as possible.

2. ‘Quantify’ your work experience (as best as you can)

You can quantify your experience in a number of ways. The best way is to quantify (aka: numerically display) your achievements — achieving or exceeding sales targets, increasing customer retention, increasing efficiency in some regard — these all prove that you’re a hard-working, goal-oriented person.

Not all of us have our achievements tracked, or have that kind of discipline. Another easy way to quantify your resume is simply to describe your duties (or establishment) numerically. IE. The size of the restaurant you worked in (how many seats); the size of a budget you managed; the number of people you trained or managed; the number of clients you worked with.

The quantification of your work details is an immediate signal of quality on a resume.

3. Be detailed

If your resume is quantified, it’s likely to be detailed. However, let this point simply reiterate the above: be specific about your job duties. Not only will it serve to “beef up” your resume, it will also help the hiring manager better understand the extend of your abilities.

4. Irrelevant work experience? Get creative, and find the commonalities.

As we all know, the economy is tough out there. Some of you may be looking for entry-level jobs in industries that are outside of your realm of experience. You may think it’s acceptable to include all of your work experience on your resume and hope that the hiring manager will recognize that you’re a non-lazy individual.

Not going to cut it. You need to read the hiring manager’s job description, (which is hopefully specific), and describe your work experience in terms of fulfilling the hiring manager’s needs.

Not always possible, but moreso than you might think at first. Be creative — this is money we’re talking about.

There you have it. You may not have the perfect work experience or the perfect education, but there are ways to make it so your resume makes it past the first round. From there, work on your interview skills, because with these tips, you are bound to get more callbacks.

About the Author: Erik “EPIC” Episcopo is a career adviser and resume expert at Resume Genius, home of the best free resume builder and resume templates. Erik strives to provide the most useful resume advice to hard-working Americans. If he needs a break from fixing the unemployment rate, Erik can be found on the basketball court, rooting for the Memphis Grizzlies, or stuffing his face with delicious morsels of goodness.

Guest Post

1 comment

  • Many job seekers think it is better to lie in a resume than to write the truth. They think that a resume with a weak experience will not catch the employer’s eye. But it is not true – a winner resume describes your own personal skills that help attract employers. Even if you’ve never held a formal job, you still have life experience that’s applicable to the job search. Describing in the resume all of your work-related positions, volunteering, academic experience, internships and any awards you may have received can help you in writing an interesting resume. To make your resume an effective, it needs to be consistent, concise, and easy to read.