Eye tracking study shows recruiters look at resumes for 7 seconds
- In its 2018 Eye-Tracking Study, Ladders Inc. revealed that the time recruiters spend on the initial screen of a resume is up from an average of only six seconds in 2012, but only by about a second. Today's recruiters skim resumes for an average of 7.4 seconds.
- Resumes that succeeded in capturing recruiters' attention featured simple layouts, with clear sections and heading titles. Resumes organized by E- or F-pattern reading tendencies also did well, especially when they utilized bold titles and bulleted accomplishments.
- Resumes did not fare well when hindered by cluttered layouts, a lack of white space on the page, multiple columns and long sentences. A lack of section or job headers also turned off recruiters, as did text that didn't flow or draw the eye down the page.
Improving candidate screening skills is an ongoing challenge for recruiters. Speed matters for those who need to sift through hundreds, even thousands of resumes. But how do recruiters race through resumes without getting sloppy, tossing a good candidate's resume after glancing at it for only a moment?
According to Kurt Heikkinen, president and CEO at Montage, tech tools can serve as a game-changer for busy, overwhelmed recruiters. "By utilizing technology such as on-demand interviewing with automated scheduling, recruiters can avoid spending time on mundane administrative tasks and build better relationships with more qualified candidates," he previously told HR Dive in an interview. As recruiters sort through or build up their tech toolbox, they can also explore how to use texting in the recruitment space, which would allow both hiring managers and candidates to communicate more quickly and simply.
As recruiters speed up time-to-hire, they need to keep the candidate experience personalized, Josh Tolan, CEO of Spark Hire, previously told HR Dive. "Generic, impersonal recruitment initiatives leave candidates feeling as though your organization only cares about filling a vacancy, rather than what the candidate's unique skills can bring to the table."