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Resume, 6 Seconds

The Most Important Elements of your Resume to Get You an Interview



Landing an interview at a huge company can seem quite daunting, but how do you do that if you don’t have any personal connections? The answer as you already know is the resume. This is your opportunity to show HR or recruiters you meet enough criteria for them to call you for an initial screening.


In this blog, we are going to highlight the areas of the resume that are worth putting extra effort into.


With that being said, a study done shows that recruiters initially spend only 6 seconds on each resume.  This is not always followed, but it’s a great rule of thumb to live by. Humans attention span is short and resumes need to be visually pleasing, and easy on the eyes to find the key highlights.  


So let’s dig in and pay attention!


The Most Recent Role:


Recruiters generally try to figure out what’s the professional’s current position or employment status is. They are constantly asking themselves questions to help make the perfect match between the open position and the candidate's current skillset.


The person reviewing the resume try to assess a couple of things from this section.

1. Are their skills in their current position suitable for this role?

2. Why would this person be interested in a new role?

3. Are they a passive candidate, or did they get laid off or fired?

4. How long have they been in their current role?


Company Recognition:


Many recruiters are company snobs and it's not even that some companies are better than others (even though some are). It’s purely a matter of companies having a name for themselves and this helps recruiters understand the environment that the candidate comes from. Some companies are known for using a particular technology, and that can create huge value for the candidate’s resume.


Overall Experience:


A recruiter is looking to see if the types of roles and responsibilities match the role they are looking to fill.  When it comes to a leadership or management position, seeing a progression in your career, with our responsibilities shows you have the experience suitable for that position.


In the tech industry specifically, titles are not labeled the same across the board. So it is here where the recruiter or HR manager will grab a better understanding of your skill set and the value you can bring to the table.


Keyword Search:


Keywords! Keywords! Keywords! I can’t stress this enough. Most companies use applicant tracking system (ATS) where it tracks all of the information of a candidate and creates a profile.  Thus making it easier to search. When a hiring manager, HR or recruiter goes to search through their database for a “front developer” or a “product manager” their system will scan all resumes and pull up most relevant to the search.


Those who are screening the resumes look to see if the candidate has experience for the role that is open. Remember, keywords are deal breakers when it comes to landing the interviews. Resumes most of the times are sent to HR managers that are not extremely technical, so if they don’t see those important words, they will pass.




Do you have a gap between work experience? Most recruiters don’t mind gaps, so long there’s a sufficient explanation. Maybe you tried starting your own company/app and failed miserably? Very impressive!  Gap explained. But remember whatever it is, needs to be explained. The absence of an explanation is what makes hiring managers wonder.


Personal Web Presence:


This includes GitHub, Dribbble, Kaggle accounts, portfolios or anything a candidate has chosen to list. If you have a personal blog showcasing your writing and communication skills this is a huge plus.

(Especially, if you are looking for a remote position. It shows a future employer you can communicate.)


General Logistics:


Location (open to relocation), Eligibility to work in the US.




Experience is king. There are always exceptions when perhaps a hiring manager wanted a bachelors or master’s degree but that’s happening less and less, but do include. Any certifications or courses you have done to improve your skills are beneficial here.



In conclusion, most recruiters can take them close to 30 seconds or less to check all of the above, if they see potential then they will likely read the resume far more in-depth. There will be times that the recruiter will ask to highlight certain technologies and/or ask for more information based on the job he is calling you for.  Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of the key details that recruiters notice when looking at resumes. With all that being said, prior to looking for your next opportunity, take out the resume and spend some time optimizing it to increase your chances of landing that interview.


Happy Hunting,


Mauricio Montaldo