4 Ways To Pass The 8-Second Resume Glance

Skimming – that’s what hiring managers are doing when they are going through resumes. There’s no time to read word-for-word when there are hundreds of resumes coming in for that one position, so they skim for key information. In fact, studies show that they spend about eight seconds scanning your resume. Related: 3 Ways To Get Your Resume Past The ATS If you want a positive response on your resume in the 8-second resume glance, here’s what you have to do.


1. Make the top-half of your resume count.

The only part of the resume that everyone reads is your opening profile. This is where you need to distinguish yourself from the 300 other people seeking the same opportunity. In short, you summarize your skills and experience and develop your value proposition. In other words, you are stating, “Here’s what I can do for you, here is how I do it, and here is where I have done it before." A good test to see if your opening profile is any good is to delete those sentences that all candidates can say and leave only those statements that only you could make.

2. Get in the keywords that matter.

In the 8-second glance, the hiring manager is skimming for relevant keywords and phrases that may inform him you have the right type of experience and skills that match the needs of the job. Things like job titles will automatically apply, but review the job posting carefully for additional hints, like specific technical skills and knowledge-sets like “employee development” or “lean Six Sigma,” and other phrases that may be applied to your resume to make it more eye-catching.

3. Lead with the best information.

Your experience should use the Harvard format: roles and responsibilities in paragraphs and bullets for achievements. This allows them to easily see the bulleted accomplishments. Start your bullets with results and put the most impressive ones first. For example, “Reduced budgeting cycle time 35% by introducing new procedures." Also, remember to stick with action words, not a passive voice like “helped” or “followed.”

4. Don’t make the reader squint.

When the font size is less than 11, it generally becomes harder to read on screen and on paper. Ensuring your resume is legible in the rush of eight seconds is critical. Stick with traditional fonts like Arial, Tahoma, Cambria, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Also use bold typeface for things like your employer and job title to help guide the reader through the different sections of your resume. Add in the proper amount of white space and use bullet points, and your resume becomes easy to digest – not a document that’s suffocating and chaotic with large blocks of text. If the hiring manager is not finding the right information in the eight seconds it takes to glance through your resume, it’s going to be rejected.

Related Posts

How To Customize Your Resume 3 Tips For Flaunting Your Value On Your Resume How To Make Dates On A Resume Work For You

About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less

Back in March, we made the hard decision to change our private Facebook group of over 37 THOUSAND members to a fee-based only platform.

SHOW MORE Show less