Three minutes, 14 seconds. That’s how long, on average, an employer will look through a resume before deciding whether or not to reject the application. Indeed, 20% of employers won’t even wait that long – that’s how many decide within 60 seconds. A similar number will reject a resume before they even read to the end of it.
That’s how cut-throat the job-seeking process is for prospective candidates. Recruiters have so many applications to get through that they can’t afford to be charitable towards people who don’t get the resume right. It is a crying shame that a person who may be the perfect fit for the job won’t even get considered for a first interview, but that’s the price they pay for not taking the time to ensure that their resume is just as strong.
Talk to any recruiter and they will tell you that the same bugbears appear time and again – spelling mistakes, unnecessary clip art, irrelevant information, unexplained gaps in career history. The use of certain clichés is also detested. An employer is not going to be blown away simply because an applicant says that they’re hardworking or enthusiastic. That should be taken as a given. What employers want to see from applicants is solid evidence that they made a difference in previous jobs. An applicant who states that they consistently exceeded their monthly sales targets by an average of 15% is always going to be considered ahead of someone who merely says that they’re hardworking or a good communicator.
If you’re a job-seeker and you want to have a strong resume that an employer will find difficult to dismiss, take a look at this infographic from Australian payroll and contractor management company Ayers.