Having a clear or professionally organized resume format that presents relevant information where recruiters expect it will improve the rating of a resume by recruiter by a whopping 60 percent, without any change to the content (a 6.2 versus a 3.9 usability rating for the less-professionally organized resume).
And if you make that common mistake of putting your resume in a PDF format, you should realize that many ATS systems will simply not be able to scan and read any part of its content (meaning instant rejection).
As a professor and a corporate recruiting strategist, I can tell you that very few applicants truly understand the corporate recruiting process.
Most people looking for a job approach it with little factual knowledge. A superior approach is to instead analyze it carefully, because data can help you understand why so many applicants simply can’t land a job.
A similar study found the review time to be 5 – 7 seconds (Be Hiring).
Obviously six seconds only allows a recruiter to quickly scan (but not to read) a resume.
So even if an applicant did spend the required time to fully read the job posting, they may still end up applying for a job that exists only on paper.
Like it or not, that narrow focus means that unless you make these four areas extremely easy for them to find within approximately four seconds, the odds are high that you will be instantly passed over.
In recruiting, we have what is known as a “hiring funnel” or yield model for every job which helps recruiting leaders understand how many total applications they need to generate in order to get a single hire.
As an applicant, this funnel reveals your chances of success at each step of the hiring process.
As a result of not actually spending the necessary time reviewing and side-by-side comparing the requirements to their own qualifications, job applicants end up applying for many jobs where they have no chance of being selected.
To make matters worse, many of the corporate position descriptions that applicants are reading are poorly written or out of date when they are posted.