How Long Do Hiring Managers Spend Reviewing Resumes?

How Long Do Employers Look at Resumes

Your resume may be the most important tool you have when it comes to landing a new job. You’ve got one shot to capture the attention of a hiring manager. Your resume is your chance to impress employers so they call you for an interview.

But have you ever thought about how long hiring managers spend reviewing your resume? A recent study revealed that hiring managers look at resumes for an average of 6 to 7 seconds.

That’s a disheartening statistic, considering how many hours you put in to creating your resume. But the study also revealed that there are specific areas of a resume that hiring managers are most interested in. You can use this knowledge to your advantage.

What Hiring Managers Look for in a Resume 

Focus on perfecting these elements of your resume to maximize the impact it has on hiring managers.

1. Format 

Many job applicants think they’ll catch the attention of a hiring manager by using graphics or unique formats. That’s a mistake.

You should use the standard resume format because it helps managers locate this information that are interested in more easily.

Your name and contact information belong at the top. Distinguish section headings with simple bold, underlining, or all caps. Use paragraph format to write your job responsibilities and bullets to list your achievements underneath each job to clearly distinguish them. Also, try to include quantifiable accomplishments since numbers are easier for hiring managers to see. You want to help the manager find the most important information quickly.

A well-organized resume also signals to the hiring manager that you are a well-organized person. If they glance at your resume and can’t see the skills, education, and accomplishments sections where they expect them to be, they’ll become frustrated—and move on to the next resume.

In addition, any resume outside of the standard format will confuse the applicant tracking systems.

2. Work History

How Long Do Employers Look at Resumes

This is obvious enough, but a hiring manager will look at your work history above all else.

Specifically, they want to see if they recognize your current employer’s name as a player in the industry. For instance, if you’re going for a job in the financial industry, they want to see that you have previous experience with financial firms.

They’ll also look at your current title to see if it’s like the role they’re hiring for. Finally, they’ll pay attention to your years of work experience. They’ll want to know if you’re a newbie, a seasoned pro, or somewhere in between.

Know that the hiring manager will likely just look at your accomplishments with the first employer listed. Maybe they’ll glance at the second employer. However, you should put all relevant job history on your resume.

3. Education 

The relevancy of your educational background depends on the hiring manager and the role you’re applying for. Some employers may just want to ensure you meet the basic educational requirements for the position.

Other employers may be scanning the educational section to determine if you have specific degrees or certifications. Either way, your educational experience should be easy for the hiring manager to find.

4. Accomplishments

How Long Do Employers Look at Resumes

You can expect most hiring managers to look at your accomplishments for your roles. They want to see concrete examples of how you succeeded in former roles. Did your contributions help your previous company overall? Were you able to boost sales numbers or increase efficiency? How much?

Seeing your accomplishments clearly on your resume helps hiring managers envision how you might make similar strides at their company. They may even think about how they can adjust the role to better enable you to make bigger contributions.

5. LinkedIn & Online Portfolio 

Every professional resume today should include your LinkedIn URL in your contact information so that hiring managers can quickly learn more about you if they’re interested. Most studies show that more than 95% of employers use LinkedIn to find and vet candidates, so including your LinkedIn URL makes it much easier for them to find you.

Also, a link to a professional portfolio may be relevant for certain positions such as graphic designers, web designers, architects, copywriters, and marketing professionals.

An online portfolio is a chance to show the creativity that you’re not showing on your resume. You can include graphics, headshots, unique layouts, even video clips if relevant.

6. Keywords

How Long Do Employers Look at Resumes

Keywords aren’t only relevant for search engine algorithms. Humans (i.e., hiring managers) also scan for keywords in your resume.

For instance, if the job description emphasizes that the candidate should be detail oriented, then you should add phrases such as detail-oriented, attention to detail, focused on details to your resume.

You don’t want to stuff your resume full of keywords. But adding them strategically throughout your resume, especially clearly showing examples of those keywords in your work history, will catch the attention of a hiring manager. 

7. Job Content 

Consider this to be the meat and potatoes of your resume. It’s basically the duties you performed at your previous jobs.

While you don’t want your entire resume to be a listing of job duties, they are an important element of a well-constructed resume. Listing what you did at previous employers is the best indication to hiring managers that you may be able to perform similar duties for them.

Invest in Yourself, Invest in Your Resume

How Long Do Employers Look at Resumes

Remember that your resume is a marketing document designed to get you an interview, period! It must clearly and concisely showcase the skills, qualifications, and value you bring to employers in the 6 to 7-seconds they’ll spend reviewing it.

Although hiring managers don’t spend too much time reviewing resumes, getting a professional to craft your resume is well worth it. The job market is just too competitive. Plus, you can assume that everyone else going for the positions you want has submitted a professionally written resume.

Also, keep in mind that once you get called for an interview, your resume may be passed around to others in the organization, such as the hiring manager’s leaders and colleagues. Those individuals will likely spend more time looking at your resume.

Investing in a well-written resume is an investment in yourself. Don’t hesitate to contact Empire Resume today to learn how we can help you land your dream job.

Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

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