Here's what recruiters focus on when they're reading your CV

A study has tracked the eye movements of recruiters to see what they look at the most during the six seconds they're glancing over your CV.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 08 Jul 2014

Ever wondered why you didn’t get a callback for that job application you thought you were perfect for? It turns out it could be that your CV just wasn’t very eye-catching, suggests research by US jobsite TheLadders.

According to the website, recruiters spend a grand total of six seconds reviewing each CV.

Ordinarily, considering the research is basically selling TheLadders’ professional CV-rewriting services, MT would ignore it – but one thing caught our eye. The company tracked the eye movements of recruiters over a period of 10 weeks to see what they look at the most. Here’s a heatmap of its findings:

The study found 80% of a recruiter’s time is spent looking at your name, current title/company, previous title/company, previous position start and end dates, current position start and end dates and education.

All that other stuff you’ve spent hours crafting – the skills that make you look like Indiana Jones on his day off, the introductory paragraph that makes you sound like a cross between Steve Jobs and James Bond? It turns out that they’re not as important as you thought. It’s your career that really counts. But you knew that anyway.

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