The “10 Second Rule” for Resumes

As a recruiter, I need to size up a resume in 10-15 seconds. This means the resume must be very well organized, concise, clear and following formatting rules that you establish. For example, if you put the dates of each of your events (ex. graduation date, work experience dates, etc.) on the right of the resume, then all of the dates need to go on the right of the resume.

There are three times when I am presented with a resume. The first time is at the Career Fair (see Career Fair – Ask a Recruiter). The second time is when I have to create my interview schedule and I am looking through a large stack of student resumes. The third time is when I am sitting down with a student for an interview. During the 10-15 seconds, I form a mental chronological outline of the student, and then I proceed to ask questions while continuing to read the resume in more depth.

There are many ways to make it easy for a recruiter to size up a resume in 10-15 seconds and I will cover these ideas in subsequent blog entries under the Resume category.

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