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New study sheds light on how recruiters view resumes

The eyes have it

A new study that uses state of the art technology sheds surprisingly light on what recruiters see and don't see when they view resumes.

The study was commissioned by, Inc., a New York-based career web site. It uses a technique called "eye-tracking" to follow recuiters' eye movements and build heat maps that show the specific areas of a resume where recruiters tend to focus.

So what does the report reveal? For starters, it verifies the widely-held belief that recruiters don't spend much time looking at the average resume. In fact, they only invest about six seconds in each resume before making a decision to call or discard a candidate. Much of the information candidates include is ignored completely including job details, specific skills and accomplishments. Approximately 80% of the review (five seconds) is spend identifying candidate name, job titles, company names, dates and education.

The report also looks at how resumes are viewed online, especially on career websites where the resume competes with ads. Generally speaking, the more crowded the page, the harder it is for the recruiter to review the resume.

The report provides critical advice to job seekers who are serious about succeeding in today's extremely competitive labor market. Most obvious is the need to properly format their resume so that critical information is present where recruiters eyes tend to focus. It is also important to provide white space throughout the resume to make it easy to read. Though these may seem like insignificant points, they may spell the difference between failure and success in your job search.

For more information:

Keeping an eye on recruiter behavior -, Inc.


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