Employment Evergreen

This Is What Recruiters Look At In The 6 Sec They Spend On Each Resume

resume heat map
Written by Faizan Patankar

I have written before how most recruiters spend about 6 seconds on average on each resume they receive for a job position they are hiring for. According to a study carried out by The Ladders, it was found out that recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing an individual resume.

If you have that short a span of time to make an impact among tens, if not hundreds, of other CVs, you want to know exactly what the recruiter will be looking at.

According to The Ladders report

“Recruiters rated resumes with an obvious information hierarchy as “easier to read.” On a Likert scale of 1 to 7, self-written resumes (below left) averaged 3.9 versus 6.2 for the professionally rewritten resume (below right), a 60% increase.”


resume heat map

Photo Credit: The Ladders

In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.

The two resumes above include a heat map of recruiters’ eye movements. The one on the right was looked at more thoroughly than the one on the left because of its clear and concise format.

About the author

Faizan Patankar

I started Career Geek Blog in 2011 to share my experience in job-hunting. I now focus on careers industry and blogging is just a tool to share that info. Love hacking careers. During the day I focus on my hobby - Engineering.


    • Hey, that is true! Resumes these days have to be concise, to the point and relevant. Recruiters as well as applicant tracking systems are getting better at spotting the good one’s from the bad 🙂

  • Hehe this article is so clever! I agree my eyes just gravitate towards those key areas and if interested, then I’ll read the bulleted details.

    • Thanks, Emily.
      Resumes are so important, and yet with all the good work that goes into it, not enough people think about the ‘readability’ of a resume!