The 6-second resume test you need to pass (according to experts)

Companies get bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes from potential candidates eager to fill much-needed and much-desired roles every day. 

With so many applicants and only so much time, it’s logical to think that hiring managers will only quickly glance over resumes. In fact, large HR departments teach the “6 Second” method, which is the magic number that a recruiter will need to find out if they’re interested in a candidate.

So why is this important to you?

How you structure your resume is vital, given the small window of time you have to impress a possible hiring division! Therefore, making sure you can capture the reader’s attention is key. Probably one of the biggest life lessons you’ll learn here is simplicity and conciseness that’ll make an impact! 

Today, we will share seven key ingredients to help, and your resume passes the “6 Second Resume Test” so that a recruiter for the job of your dreams doesn’t miss out on hiring you! 

The Quick 6-Second Resume Test List:

  1. Name
  2. Certifications 
  3. Contact Info
  4. Supporting Media 
  5. Professional Title/Summary 
  6. Core Competencies 
  7. Highlighted Achievements 

Let’s take a deeper look at each.

1. Name

Make sure you include your name bolded at the top so it is easy to see. 

Keep this consistent throughout your resume. To avoid confusion, given that you have a common name, include your middle initial, which will help recruiters distinguish you from the others who may share your name. 

2. Certifications

If you have a certification or advanced degree that’s considered valuable in your career, such as an MS, MBA, etc., include it after your name. However, anything lower than graduate degree credentials, don’t include it as it will not be relevant. 

Why is this important, you may ask? 

Certifications are one of the top-selling points you have to offer for recruiters and one of the top things they look for as they quickly scan your resume. Include it after your name, and that’ll do the trick! 

3. Contact Info

Include your mobile phone number and an email address you’ve designated for your job search. If you haven’t set up your phone to receive voicemails or recorded a voicemail greeting, do it now! 

When selecting your email address, I recommend creating one on a platform like Gmail that incorporates your professional name and is dedicated to job-search and networking activities. 

This will help you keep your job search organized, which will come in handy when conversing between yourself and recruiters of different companies. 

4. Supporting Media

Resumes tend to be a sort of cut-and-dry type of document; however, there are still outlets where you can let the recruiter know about your expertise in the subject matter, creativity, and holistic personality. What am I talking about, you might ask? Hyperlinks! 

Below or adjacent to the contact information in your header, include links to websites that shed some light on these areas of your professional brand. 

For instance, it’s now commonplace to include the URL to your LinkedIn profile.

Pro Tip: Always submit your resume in PDF format. This will allow the hiring division/manager to click on your hyperlinks quickly, and the format is always cleaner than a word document! It’s vital to assume they’re most likely reading your resume on their computer! 

5. Professional Title/Summary 

To get the best job leads down the road and win the recruiter’s attention, make sure they are crystal clear on the type of role you are targeting with the title. Be sure to simplify your job goals to diversify your job leads without getting too specific (Example: Entry-level multimedia professional). That way, you’ll garner attention to different roles in the same field. 

If your target’s role is more precise, add more details to your title without overdoing it! 

For the summary, think of it as an elevator pitch. A short, three to five-sentence paragraph that is super simple and that answers these three questions: 

  1. Why are you qualified for this type of position?
  2. What about your experience, education, and skills make you a good candidate for this type of role?
  3. Most importantly, how have you used these qualifications to provide value to your previous employer?

6. List Core Competencies

Make sure you are listing your core competencies and the key phrases to summarize your expertise. Most companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help filter resumes. The key phrases are key to making sure you meet the algorithms standards! 

Make your list short, sweet, and impactful! 

7. Highlighted Achievements

If you’ve been in the professional world a lot, the chances are that you’ve done a lot of things. Make it easier to follow along by highlighting the things you’ve done, especially those with higher significance and relevance to what you are applying for! 

Companies want to see how you can help them, not just a regurgitated job description! Show your achievements! 

The verdict!

To put it quite frankly, resumes are not that exciting to prepare for but are necessary to open up a door to the career you want in the long run. It’s all a psychology of making it simple, concise, and easy to follow along so that recruiters or the ATS know exactly why you are applying! 

Diversify your leads, get in touch with better opportunities by following these tricks, and that 6-second rule will be a walk in the park for you and your future!