Recruiters Spend Only 6 Seconds Reviewing Your Resume... Where Do They Look?

May 8th 2015

ATTN: Staff

Recruiters will decide on your résumé in about six seconds, according to The Ladders and Business Insider. 

They'll first look at your name. Then they'll look at your most recent job and the dates you were employed there. And if that takes more than 6 seconds, they won't look at much else.

But what if I am currently unemployed?

This information raises a concern that many have had since the Great Recession of 2007-8 as many workers could not find jobs for extended periods of time, and it's known that unemployed workers have a tougher time finding employment because recruiters often avoid candidates who are unemployed or have long gaps between jobs. So, when that recruiter is looking at your résumé and the second thing they see is that you haven't worked in six months, it could be a deal-breaker. Some jurisdictions have passed laws prohibiting hiring discrimination against the unemployed. The problem, though, is that even if that law exists, how can you prove that's why an employer passed on you?

If you're unemployed and stuck in this situation where your resume has a big gap, there are a couple things you can do.

1. Find something, anything to fill in that gap. Even if it's a volunteer job at a local charity. Just get something on your résumé without an end date. You need your most recent position to say "present."

2. Try to find free career help that might be offered at nearby non-profits or your local community college.

3. Expand your job search beyond your computer screen to in-person networking. This will not only help you avoid online résumé filters, but it will also get you out of the house.

What about my résumé's font?

And you should probably not use Times New Roman as your résumé font. Three typography experts told Bloomberg that Times New Roman shows a lack of creativity.

“It’s telegraphing that you didn’t put any thought into the typeface that you selected,” one expert said. “It’s like putting on sweatpants.”

Another expert recommended Helvetica.

“If it's me, [I’m using] Helvetica. Helvetica is beautiful."