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Does your resume pass the six-second test?



Do you think your CV would catch the attention of the person responsible for a candidacy in less than 6 seconds? If you do not want to fail in the attempt, we review some considerations that you should take into account.

Nowadays it is not easy to develop a CV that stands out above the rest, draw the attention of the personnel in charge of the selection of candidates and adapt to the needs and preferences of the company and its vacancy. It is necessary to be visual, synthetic, original, striking and honest, capturing in the least amount of space possible - or using a creative format - the experience, training and professional profile of the candidate, adding value and differentiating from the rest of applicants to achieve the Long-awaited interview.

In many cases, a large percentage of resumes are not reviewed in a first screening by the human eye, as many multinationals and personnel recruitment companies advocate the use of those known as ATS (application tracking systems), programs software that “scan” the resumes they receive online to make a first selection of candidates based on keywords. The purpose of these systems is to automatically eliminate most of the candidates that do not correspond to the requested role. In this way, only 3% of those who apply for employment online get to contact a recruiter.

And when recruiters look at the chosen CVs, they don't usually spend too much time on each one. In fact, a study indicates that if you don't get a recruiter's attention with your resume in less than 6 seconds, you're lost. To be worthy of that small fraction of time, you should make the most of the format and content. We give you some keys for this:

  • White space makes it easier to read: The more empty space on a page, the easier it will be for someone to read what is really on it. In addition to being synthetic, the design must be clean and minimalist, since the visual overload will cause the recruiter to skip reading your CV. A general rule is you should never use a font less than 11 points.
  • Stick to the facts, goodbye flourishes: To free up space in the document, you must eliminate all the florid and subjective text where you try to magnify your achievements or use ostentatious language to describe your skills. “I took X project forward supervising a team of 20 people with a budget of 500,000” euros is more effective than poetic and imprecise flourishes. The numbers are not only the easiest to read when a resume is scanned, but they are also the ones most likely to be remembered by the recruiter.
  • Permanent update and customization: Instead of wanting to impress, focus on the needs of the recruiter and shine several versions until you find the right one. It is also important that you adapt it to the role and characteristics of the vacancy, make an x-ray of your skills and competencies related to it and attach a concise and impressive presentation letter that reinforces your chances of being selected.