How Long do Recruiters Look at a Resume?

Jan Tegze
6 min readOct 9, 2018
Autor: Bram Naus Photo: Featured in

The most challenging part of applying for a job is obtaining an interview and getting the chance to talk to your employer in person. But you need to send your resume first and hope that it is good enough to land you that interview.

You see, employers, especially big corporations, receive a high number of resumes when they announce an open position. As you may suspect, the employer doesn’t have the time to read all the resumes that come in, so they will be quickly scanned in order to see if a candidate is worth a more in-depth analysis.

This is called the “6-second scan” of the resume. Practically, the employer is looking for any details that are worth considering. If you get an employer to spend more than 6 seconds to look at your resume, then your chances of getting an interview are considerably higher.

You probably read something like this in the article that was full of the right tips to beat this 6-second scan. And maybe you asked yourself whether that was actually right. Really 6 seconds? It’s this true?

I asked the same question when I saw those articles and offers promising to customize my resume, so I could pass the 6-second screening test.

The 6-second Resume Scan

I started my search for a study that was the source of the information for all these articles and offers. Many articles led me to one source study: “Keeping an eye on recruiter behavior” published by TheLadders. I recently read many studies about how formatting of text is influencing readers and I was curious about that new study that is a source of data for so many articles.

It was quite easy to find it; however, I was surprised that it’s just a 5-page PDF file (brochure) full of statements with no detailed information. It was like the brochure that any marketing department could create during two days and not the type of study that you usually see, dozens pages supported by research.

I was trying to find the whole study and not this brochure. I spent quite lot of time trying to find more information on that study. But maybe I don’t know how to find information on Google, I don’t have sufficient luck or there is nothing else about this study, only this 5-page brochure.



Jan Tegze

Author of bestseller “Full Stack Recruiter”, #Recruiter, Dream Chaser, Creator of impossible, #BlackBerry fan (probably the only one).