The 6-Seconds Resume Test Don’t Exist. Here’s How Should Write Your CV InsteadBy Tang Kai Long • 5 min read
You probably already heard of the “6-Second Resume Test”.
That a recruiter spends no more than 6 seconds deciding if they should pass your resume or not. That is all time between you being selected and you joining the reject pile.
How can you design your CV in a way that it stands out from the rest and captures the attention of the recruiter?
We interviewed Ryan Park, an experienced recruiter with 15 years of experience in Talent Acquisition and had him share with us the CV that he finds most compelling.
Some jobseekers are under the impression that a recruiter takes approximately 6 seconds to decide whether or not they will continue to read more. How do you write a CV that catches the attention of the recruiter?
A CV is not a resume.
A resume can be one-page, but a CV has to be extremely detailed.
Well, we definitely spend more than 6 seconds. We try to train our junior recruiters not to spend more than 5 minutes per CV. They’re not doing a keyword search. They’re not combing your CV for some particular terms you used. That’s not the case.
We train them to be fast readers, to go through the sentences in a certain way. Also, a CV usually has bullet points in their formatting, so it isn’t very difficult to go through all of them quickly.
I wouldn’t say there are bad CVs. There’re always better written CVs, then there are the okay CVs, the ones that are slightly off the mark. I think it’s very important to understand how to write a good CV. That is the first step to being selected.
Also, some schools have taught their students to write a single page CV, and that they shouldn’t go more than 1 page. That is totally wrong.
How much can you say about yourself within a single page?
Of course, if you’re a fresh graduate then maybe one page makes sense. Understand there is a difference between resume and CV.
For the resume, it can be one page yes. It can be a very simple summary of the companies you have worked for. It can also include very brief information of your education background. So that’s a resume – one single page.
Some people write a cover letter, attach it with their resume, and treat that as their application. That’s also wrong.
A CV has to be extremely detailed. It’s like we’re having a chat with you and getting all the information we need about you without talking to you first hand.
But sometimes people get lost. They don’t know what to write about. A lot of complexities are introduced when they focus too much on impressing the interviewer. They want to tell the interviewer all the things they are capable at, which are relevant to the job.
But it doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re too focused on certain details that you think will impress the recruiter, or simply the things you think they want to hear – you will get lost. You wouldn’t know what you’re talking about.
Your whole sequence will get mixed up, twisted, and you will end up saying the things that you don’t particularly excel at.
My suggestion would be to start with your daily duties and routines.
My suggestion would be to start with your daily duties and routines. Then you move up to weekly, monthly, annually. List everything down and you’ll start to see overlaps. Now you put them into clusters and beautify your words. Make it easy for people to understand.
That is all about your duty, whatever has been assigned to you for that specific job.
… be very specific on what you have achieved and how you achieved it.
Then there is the achievement part. Let’s say you have worked for a company for the past 5 years and got promoted 3 times. You can then create sub-sections for each title you held, and then more sub-sections for the different responsibilities you had. This one is about what you have achieved.
You can brag about it, if you have numbers to show, fantastic. This is the impression the part. You want to impress them by showing “Hey, this is how much I’ve done.”
But you have to be very careful with certain projects where you have to make it clear that it was a team effort. It wouldn’t make sense if you say you only have 3 years of working experience but managed to push out a crazy project between several global companies.
No one is going to believe that. I am pretty sure you are part of the team, yes, but if you were doing the backend paperwork and made it sound like the project was your own, then you lose your trustworthiness.
So you have to be very specific on what you have achieved and how you achieved it. That would be it for the achievements section.
A well-written CV wouldn’t guarantee you a job – but it’s the first step to even getting one. Learn from a recruiter how the CVs are selected and increase your chances and landing an interview.
Read the full transcript and pick up valuable tips and advice coming from an experienced recruiter.
Check out this related article to get your resume right:
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