Your Resume Has Only 10 Seconds to Quickly Catch The Attention of Human Resources, Hiring Managers and Recruiters

Common wisdom dictates that you must spend endless hours crafting, shaping, redoing, rechecking, rewriting and agonizing over the resume. Perhaps even enlist the aid of a “professional” resume writer to further help draft a perfect work of art.

The currently reality, however, does not agree with this supposed standard.

A combination of factors creates a current culture in which your resume will only be viewed quickly.

With the ascension of LinkedIn, proliferation of job boards, internal recruiters, headhunters, employee referrals, corporate job boards, and job aggregation sites, a job advertisement is now seen by more people than ever.

The same job may be posted concurrently on Monster, Career Builder, Facebook, Twitter, The Ladders,, LinkedIn, Google+, Indeed, Simply Hired, niche job boards, recruiter’s website job listings, the hiring corporation’s website and other venues.

Literally hundreds of resumes will be emailed for the job.

Post financial crisis, the HR functions of many firms have been scaled back so that you have less people managing more jobs. The hiring manager needs to focus on her job and does not have enough time for all the resumes.

Also, we are in a “plug and play” job market whereby companies desire candidates with the skill sets and experience that exactly matches the job requirements. If the background is not an almost perfect match the firm moves on to another applicant.

Therefore, you have an almost toxic combination of an inordinate amount of resumes flowing into a company with an overworked human resources staff, stretched-thin hiring managers, and exceedingly high expectations about the candidate’s background.

Picture yourself sitting home watching television. You have the kids running around trying to get your attention, your spouse telling you about his day, simultaneously checking email, logging onto Facebook, and maybe sending a tweet.  A commercial comes on. That commercial must quickly capture your attention to block out all the other stimuli. If not, it becomes just background noise that you don’t notice.

This is what is happening with your resume.  Due to the above factors, the process pushes people to quickly scan your resume to see if it is a perfect fit.

Just like in your out-of-the-office typical day, you can’t sit with a cup of coffee and read the entire New York Times to find out what is happening in the world. What do you do; skim the titles.

The people involved with the hiring process look at your name, current firm, job title, and responsibilities.  Then, they will take a peek at your experience with the prior firm, and move onto your educational background.

Firms demand someone who is already doing the exact same job at a competing firm and he/she must be able to “hit the ground running”.

While resume writers will come up with all sorts of niceties to put on the resume, the reality is that you must clearly, effectively, concisely show that you have the actual relevant required skills and experience desired.

If the firm has 12 ingredients for the job they want you to have 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14 of those points.

If you pass the 10 second rule then the HR/hiring manger will look more closely at your resume to see how your other skills and attributes compare with the other 10 second people.

Is this fair? No. Is this reality, Yes!

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