Driftwood Group

6.25 Seconds Per Resume…!?


Earlier this week a candidate asked me how long I spend looking at an applicant’s resume. This launched me into my most polished rant about how there is a general conception that recruiters spend almost no time at all actually READING the resume you send them.

Apparently we all just scan the document for keywords, and have a very cursory review of gaps, dates, longevity and education.

We’re going back a few years here when I mention a study reported by Forbes in 2012…click on the logo below if you like and have a quick read.


       Did you click it?

             Did you read it?

                   No, I though not!

Let me paraphrase it for you – apparently we evil recruiters spend no more than 6.25 seconds reading time per resume. Yes, that’s right – 6.25 seconds. That’s no longer than the time it took you to read that last sentence!

Type “6.25 seconds” into a Google search…see what I mean…!?

Now, I don’t know about you, but something smells fishy to me….

Maybe I’m a bit dim and a VERY slow reader, but I can’t review an applicant’s resume in 6.25 seconds!

My poor old PC can barely open a resume document in 6.25 seconds!!!


I was up to about this part of my rant when the penny dropped for me – you know something else while we’re on this subject?

I think some of our applicants spend no longer than 6.25 seconds putting their application together, emailing me a typo-laden form letter and a resume that has been cut n’ pasted a thousand times.

This time-clock business cuts both ways.

It’s hard work applying for a job. I get it – I’ve been there myself. I may be the personification of that classic old standard:

“Those who cannot do – teach!”

But guess what…It’s hard work finding the right person for a job too. The idea that those of us tasked with recruitment, be it agency or internal, headhunter or consultant spend so little time reading a person’s application is just plain nonsense.

Just the same as it’s nonsense that the average jobseeker puts almost no thought whatsoever into their application.

How about we give each other a break.

I want to find you a job. I’d LOVE to find you a job.

And you’d quite like to be working, being paid for what you do rather than worrying about the bills piling up.

So you help me out, and I’ll help you out.

Put some thought into how you approach the application process – trust me, I WILL notice.

Remember that for each position that comes up, you’re likely 1 in at least 200+ other applicants. Make it STAND OUT, and make it count.

For my side of the bargain, I’ll take the time to read what you write, think about your situation, you skills and your interests – maybe even give you a call to follow up. Try and find the right home for your select and excellent personality.

And sooner or later, you’ll find a job, and I’ll help out a valued client.

Just trust me when I say…it’s gonna take quite a bit longer than 6.25 seconds!


ALEX KELLY – 3rd July 2015

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Alex Kelly

Alex Kelly

Alex is a Director at Driftwood Group | Occasional Recruiter | Amateur Wordsmith | Career Interventionist