IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE! How Much Attention does a Recruiter give Your Resume, Initially?
Is it true that some recruiters reject a resume in 6 seconds?
Recruiters actually reject resumes very quickly for reasons beyond being unqualified. Here are 5 things recruiters sometimes make snap decisions on that you may not realize.
Snap decision 1: Your graduation year
If you think they will believe you to be too young for the role, or too old for the role, or any other concerns about age, eliminate your graduation years from your resume. If they ask you for your graduation years that can actually be considered attempted age discrimination in the United States.
I personally do not put my graduation years on my LinkedIn or resume, so that no one makes any pre-judgments about what I’m too young or too old to do.
Snap decision 2: Your email address
If you have an old email provider like AOL or Hotmail, companies will judge you hardcore for being “behind the times” and “against change.” I know, it’s a far leap to make from just an email address but they really do reject you for it!
Snap decision 3: Your location
If you do not live in the city of the job you are applying to, write on your resume that you want to relocate to that city, or better yet that you ARE relocating (only if it’s true).
Otherwise, the recruiter might get lazy and think: this person probably wants to work remotely, or may need to be convinced to relocate, may be expensive to relocate … blah blah, so many other excuses to reject you.
Snap decision 4: Your photo
Studies have found that during those 6 seconds that recruiters are reading your resume, if you have a photo, they spend about half of that time looking at your face. You probably have a darling face, but you likely don’t want them spending their time focusing on it. Not only is a photo distracting, it introduces the possibility of lots of other biases seeping in. I notice this from a lot of international applicants they are more likely to put a photo, their age, if they are married, how many kids they have. Leave all that stuff off if applying for US jobs.
Snap decision 5: Your number of jobs
If you have held many full-time jobs (not intern or contract work) in a short amount of time (switching every 6 months to 1.5 years) you may be dismissed for being a “job hopper”.
All of the above “snap decisions” are quick fixes; but this one is quite a bit trickier, so find ways to explain your resume if you are a job hopper, how to address it in job interviews, and of course why employers are so freaked out by people who have a lot of jobs in a short amount of time.
If you are a “chronic job hopper” by these standards, there are a few smart ways to discuss your employment history during an interview that will still sell you as a solid, committed candidate. Here’s how several experts recommend you address frequent job changes on your résumé.
Highlight your transferable skills. In most cases, the type of job hopper employers are wary of is one who moves around in the same industry, taking the same position or job level over and over again, without demonstrating what you’ve gained from your experiences.
Job hopping into new industries or new positions can simply reflect a desire to gain transferable skills in order to thrive in our flux marketplace. A job hopper who has diverse perspectives and skill sets may be the best talent for the shift towards more remote and project-based work of tomorrow.”
Some hiring managers may appreciate multiple employers on your résumé and may view it as a good thing.
Employers like to see evidence of professional growth on a candidate’s résumé. As much as possible, highlight your career progression, or mention NEW Software applications you were able to learn/experience which can go a long way toward showing a larger purpose to job changes.
Be honest about your reasons for job hopping. If your employment history is full of short tenures, hiring managers will likely want to know why. An employer will be more understanding if circumstances were beyond your control, such as downsizing or a spouse’s relocation, but if you chose to leave each time, you’ll need to provide an honest, valid reason for your frequent moves.
Explain why you made each move and how each one helped you in your career. For example, did you get to use newer technology, work on more high-profile projects or take on additional responsibilities?
Human Resource Professionals emphasize the importance of not getting defensive when you explain yourself — a potential employer won’t want to hear a laundry list of excuses.
Show that you want to commit to this employer.
Every job candidate should be able to discuss why he or she wants to work for a company, and this is especially true of job hoppers. Prospective employers will be looking for reassurance that you won’t leave them in six months, so be prepared to explain what’s different now, several professionals advised. Connect the common themes of your experiences, and explain how they will help you thrive in the position you want now, and for the long term.
Highlight why you want to work for the employer and your willingness to commit. You may even want to express your desire to find a long-term home.