Resume Heat Map: How Recruiters Spend Their Six Seconds

TheLadders tracked recruiters' eye movements when reviewing resumes. Using a heat map, we can see what this group looked at in the mere six seconds they spent reviewing your life's work.

Business Insider posted a video explaining the results. The biggest lesson is that your current and previous positions and education should be clear and easy to see. White space and font size matter.

  Resume heat map

What can we learn from the results?

  • Recruiters scan the name and then current and previous jobs. Jobs should be prevalent under a section called Professional Experience or Work Experience. The results reinforce that you  should highlight positions clearly with font enhancements, such as bold type. Also, this may be another case for taking positions with well-known companies. Then, consider how easily your position title can be read.
  • Education was the next section scanned in the resume. Again, the name of a school and degree should be prominent in this section.
  • What about other skills, volunteer work, etc.? These should still be included for the next round of the selection process: a second screen or an interview. But, as we already know, these can be placed at the bottom of the resume and shouldn't take up too much space. If you're debating between including your model airplane hobby and providing a bit more white space and a longer font, I'd go with the latter.

Discussion Starters:

  • How can a recruiter assess your qualifications in just six seconds? Try to explain this from a hiring manager's perspective.
  • What does this heat map tell you about your own resume? What changes will you make as a result?