How much time does a recruiter spend looking at a resume?

Written by George Smith on Jan 3, '2017


Most recruiters are generalists and very few are experts in the domain they recruit for. Also understand that they spent very little time looking at a resume- a recent study found that recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing an individual resume.

According to the research, recruiters tend to follow a consistent visual path when reviewing both resumes and online profiles, so an organized layout is crucial. Because professionally written resumes have a clear visual hierarchy and present relevant information where recruiters expect it, these documents quickly guide recruiters to a yes/no decision.

In fact, the study found that, using a Likert-like scale** ranking of 1 to 7, recruiters gave professionally re-written resumes an average rating of 6.2 for “usability.” This was a 60% improvement compared with a 3.9 rating before the re-write. This finding supports participating recruiters’ comments that the re-written resumes were “easier to read.”


Follow an organized layout and a strong visual hierarchy; and make sure online profiles are easy-to-read, without distracting visuals. Get some much needed interview practice before your big interview.


Topics: Candidate Guide