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The 30 Second Glance Test

We executive search consultants (head-hunter’s) see heaps of resumes.  

When we’re really busy, a resume might merit a glance.  Or not.

That depends on you.

It’s not just us either.  HR Managers, hiring managers, and recruiters face the same time pressure.  Which means your resume better grab someone’s attention fast.  Even good candidates with outstanding credentials, solid careers, stellar educations, and blue-chip employers can maroon themselves with a poorly presented resume.

A well written resume will pass the 30 second “glance test”.  Your resume needs to pass this survival test before a consultant will take a second, longer, later look and read it in more detail. 

This preliminary scan is the same as scanning a book’s cover and back in order to glean useful information.  In the case of a book it’s, shall I buy this? do I want to read further? is it a worthwhile investment? 

In the case of your resume it’s the reader deciding whether or not to invest further time by reading more.  The reader mentally asks, is this relevant, pertinent to the project I’m doing now?  Is the information presented to me clearly, now, in 30 seconds (or less)?

The best resumes—- that is, the ones that get you interviews—  are clear and concise and give useful information freely.  No reader wants to have to work to extract essential information from your resume.   We’re not miners; we don’t excavate your resume for meaning.  We’re not detectives; we don’t sleuth around looking for clues in your work history.

It’s your job to present your story distinctly.  Or not.

Either way, you have about 30 seconds.

About Dr. Duff Watkins [www.execsearch.com.au]

international executive search consultant / author-- dispensing career advice about how the job market really works


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Dr. Duff Watkins

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