Hire a Resume Writer - Personal Biases Affecting Your Resume - The Perfect Resume

At The Perfect Resume, your Professional Resume Writer can help you eliminate personal biases that may be affecting your chances of being shortlisted for an interview. 

I have heard my resume only gets six seconds to be read, is this true?

Yes, it’s true. Recruiters have been known to reject a resume in six seconds! As a previous Senior Manager, I am also guilty of this. I have personally read tens of thousands of resumes.  Many were rejected between 6-30 seconds of reading time.  I also conducted hundreds of interviews and hired hundreds of people. When you receive upwards of three hundred resumes per job opening, you often don’t have the luxury of spending weeks reading each CV in depth.

Let’s say your resume is six pages long. If I spent 10 minutes reading your resume word for word and had 300 other resumes, also six pages long. I would have spent 50 hours reading resumes back to back on top of my already busy work schedule. That’s simply not possible. Recruiters may have 10-20 job openings at any one time. With an average of six seconds each, 300 resumes are scanned in 30-minutes. Approximately 20 resumes would be added to the shortlist pile and read more closely with greater attention to detail.

What do recruiters look for in a resume during those six seconds?

Recruiters and sometimes managers need to make snap decisions. I am proud to say that I am not guilty of all first-cut tactics below, however, I have known recruiters across industries which are jaw-droppingly ruthless. Stop wasting your time, get in touch with a Professional Resume Writer if you believe personal bias is a reason for your long list of unsuccessful emails. As expert resume writers we know industry tricks and psychological triggers to help you stand out for the right reasons. Below you will find many first-cut tactics known to be used by recruiters. If you believe your resume is subject to any of the below, chances are you will receive an unsuccessful email:

  • A cover letter was not included, the cover letter wasn’t specific to the job or the position title advertised doesn’t match that on the cover letter.
  • The resume is more than 2-3 pages long.
  • A salary expectation is outside of the offered range.
  • The file attached is a corrupt file (often this is due to using Pages software from a MAC).
  • Only a shared link to your google docs resume is available.
  • Have used a font that is hard to read.
  • The wrong gender – Yes, unfortunately, this is still a problem in today’s society.
  • Are under qualified or over qualified.
  • Are too young or too old for the role.
  • Have an immature email address e.g. sexycat@outlook.com or haven’t included an email at all. One recruiter admitted to rejecting someone with a Hotmail account as they are considered “behind the times” and perhaps “resist change”. We recommend you change your email to an outlook.com exchange.
  • Live in a disadvantaged area, too far away from the office or need to relocate to fulfil the position – combat this by leaving your location off.
  • Are not attractive. This is terrible, but a good reason to leave your photo off your resume. Studies have found during the six seconds recruiters read your resume, they spend three seconds looking at your face. Not only does your photo distract the recruiter’s attention from your credentials and stand out achievements, it also introduces other biases such as age, race, weight, gender etc. Do yourself a favour, leave the photo off, unless you are going for a position which heavily relies on age or presentation e.g. a front-facing receptionist, sales representative, model, actor etc. A photo could also be beneficial for senior leadership positions as it further demonstrates your professionalism and often your personality will filter through to the photo.
  • A mum, dad or have other family commitments that will distract you from work. If you are married, that is wonderful for you. If you have kids, they are miracles that should be cherished. On a resume, you can leave this information out! Save it for the kitchen stories when you commence your job.
  • Have had a career gap or had too many jobs in a short amount of time - Get in touch with a Professional Resume Writer to reduce this bias. We don’t want you coming across as a potential prisoner who has done jail time, or unreliable and easily bored.
  • Your resume writing style indicates you do not have a good grasp of English – You can avoid this by asking us to proof read your resume for you to ensure you have eliminated any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. (Click here to book us in to proofread your document)
  • Come across as too egotistical or use too many buzzwords e.g. “exceptional sales pioneer!”
  • The applicant is not an Australian Citizen or they are on a visa.
  • The candidate looks desperate and appears to be applying for every job available.

Employers are hiring to close-out positions. Especially for entry-level positions, rejections are quick as the number of applicants outnumbers the number of minutes a recruiter has available for screening candidates. When there are batches of resumes to go through, the first-cut filter is a little less logical. Your resume may not even be opened!  Rest assured, recruiters, need a stronger reason for rejecting middle management or senior level positions.

Optimise your job search and get in touch with a Professional Resume Writer from The Perfect Resume today. Simply send us your resume via email to theperfectresume@outlook.com.au we will review your resume and provide constructive feedback for free. 

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The Perfect Resume - Personal Biases Affecting your Resume