How to pass the 6-second resume test

Creating a beautiful resume to apply for a job takes a lot of time and effort. That is something we all know very well.

Because a resume is more than just a piece of paper. It’s a factor that will influence your future.

Did you know that it only takes a hiring manager around 6-seconds to determine whether to drop off your resume from a job competition or continue with it?

That is the harsh reality.

What is this 6-second resume test?

Today, at least 250 resumes are usually submitted for even a single job opening. Or it could be thousands. So a hiring manager really does not have time to read all these resumes with their busy schedule. So they spend about six seconds on a single resume, skimming through it and deciding whether to drop it or keep it.

If they feel that there is something to take in your resume during this little time, they will be more inclined to read your resume with more interest. Otherwise, your resume will go to the rejection pile.

There is no rocket science to this test conducted by hiring managers. What they really do is skim your resume before studying it in depth. By doing so, the hiring manager will be able to get a general idea of ​​whether the applicant is suitable for the position or not.

Recruiters will not completely analyze your resume during this test. The first impression is the key to success in passing the six-second resume test.

But, you know very well that hiring managers are different. We do not know how they think. Different recruiters may take different approaches to test your resume within six seconds.

However, if your resume is optimized for a six-second resume scan, you have no reason to be afraid of any kind of hiring manager or recruiter scanning your resume.

So below we will discuss how to prepare your resume for a six-second test.

Resume hotspots in a 6-second resume scan

Hotspots on a resume 6-second scan are areas where a recruiter’s eye can often collide. You need to pay more attention to those places when setting up your resume. They are,



      Contact information

      Professional title

      Professional Summary

      Current title/company

      Previous title/company

      Start/end dates


six second resume check list

How to pass the six-second resume test

There are many things you can do to pass the 6-second test. Setting up your resume using all the tips mentioned below will minimize the chances of you failing the 6-second scan.

01. Remember to insert first things first

You have only six seconds to get a recruiter’s attention. If so, your most important and accurate information should be presented first. To do this, you can do the following.


      Contact Information – Your name, location, phone number, and email address should be mentioned at the top of your resume. If you have a higher educational qualification or certificates related to the job you are applying for, mention the abbreviation next to your name. This will make it easier for the hiring manager to understand your qualifications.


      Professional Title – It is a meaningful and concise statement that hints at how wonderful you are. If used properly, you can get a very good first impression from this line. It should be crystal clear and easy for a recruiter to figure out what your job goals are as soon as he looks at your resume. To do so, it is best to display your job title without getting too specific.

      Here are some sample professional resume titles for you to get inspired.

      • Senior Marketing Professional
      • Entry-level Customer Service Representative

02. Add your career-related social media links

This is a digital world. Any recruiter would like to see your job-related social media profiles. So if you have LinkedIn accounts and Twitter accounts that share your job-related posts, don’t forget to mention them.

If a recruiter is interested in you, they will definitely go to your online profile and try to find out more about you. Incorporating those links into your resume is a big help to hiring managers. This saves them time in searching for your online profile.

03. Make sure you are applying for the correct job

If the resume you are sending does not align with the published job, it will not take a hiring manager even 6 seconds to drop your application from the pile.

So before you submit your resume, make sure that you are applying for a job that suits your qualifications and education. And also list only the relevant work experience and skills. You need to tailor your resume according to the job description.

04. Avoid using photographs

You are more likely to be discriminated against if you include a photo on your résumé. There’s a possibility that the recruiting manager doesn’t like your appearance. If that’s the case, your resume will be thrown away in less than 6 seconds.

As a result, unless the company specifically requests it, we recommend not including your photo in your resume.

05. Make your resume easy to skim

As mentioned earlier, the ability to skim Your resume is very important in a six-second resume scan. So always choose a standard resume format that is free of heavy graphics.

Write section headers in a way that is easy to understand. Minimize the blocks of text and paragraphs and present your achievements concisely with bullet points. Then your hiring manager can skim read the resume and easily point out your important information.

06. Use numbers as much as possible

When you list your achievements, make them easy to understand with what you did and the result you got using quantified results. On a résumé, numbers will always stand out and can quickly catch a recruiter’s attention.

07. Pick an easy-to-read font

Remember, do not use fonts on your resume as you wish. Because some fonts are not compatible with resumes at all. So make it a habit to use one of the recommended resume fonts every time you craft a resume. When selecting a resume font, always try to find a scannable and not distracting font.

Here are some appropriate font choices you could use on your resume.







      Bookman Old Style

08. Reduce grammatical and typo errors

A hiring manager’s first impression of your resume will not be positive if it contains grammar or typo errors. Then he might think you’re a careless candidate. As a result, you are at risk of failing the 6-second resume scan. So pay careful attention to your resume’s grammar and spelling.

09. Keep your resume concise

Limit your resume to one-page. If your CV is unnecessarily long or the bullet points are too long, it will be difficult for the hiring manager to skim your resume.

A brief and concise presentation of your achievements will allow the recruiter to know your experience, qualifications, and abilities.

10. Keep it tidy

When you build your resume, you need to pay more attention to its structure. For example, if your resume is divided into a few columns, they must be aligned with each other. Also, the bullet points on your resume should be aligned. That will make it easier for the reader to view your resume.

Proper management of the line spacing can also enhance the clarity of the resume. Therefore, apply single-space to your whole resume. By including a blank space between the sections will maximize the readability of the resume further.

Also maintain a balanced white space to text ratio.

So the tidiness of your resume will be one of the biggest factors for you to pass the six-second resume scan.

So here’s the summary..

Make every part of your resume extremely easy to read. When a recruiter skims your resume, we can’t pre-determine where they will start to read and which sections they will check. So every part of your resume needs to be optimized to pass the 6-second test as much as possible.

If you pass the 6-second resume test, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job. After you pass this test, the recruiting manager will go over your resume in detail. If you’ve carefully prepared your ideal resume, you’ll be contacted for an interview and possibly a job offer.