Does Your Resume Pass The 6-Second Skim Test?

| Updated on July 7, 2023

If you want your dream job, you only have 6 seconds to make it happen. Most hiring managers don’t have enough time to go through every resume in detail. Especially when there are hundreds and thousands of resumes for every opening they have.

You have to prove you’re worth the job in 6 seconds or less. Creating the first resume can be a difficult task when you don’t know where to begin. The 6 seconds only puts more pressure. This guide will help you assess if your resume can pass the test.

And if it doesn’t, don’t worry about it! A resume builder will help you create one that will pass all tests.

What is the 6-Second Test?

Top recruiters have conveyed that the maximum time they spend on one resume is 6 seconds. 6 seconds is all it takes for your resume to end up in either the ‘yes’ pile or the ‘no’ pile. This is where effective resume writing helps. If anything, you’ll catch the recruiter’s attention for the better.

The 6-second test means that the recruiter will skim through your resume for 6 seconds and then make their decision. This is a common practice in the industry as it saves time and helps weed out irrelevant candidates.

What Resume Sections are the Most Important for the 6-second Test?

There are a few sections that recruiters look at to decide if a candidate’s profile fits their criteria. These sections are:

  • Contact Information
  • Education
  • Work Experience or Certifications
  • Achievements

Within these sections, hiring managers observe some elements to decide if the candidate is worth shortlisting or not. These sections are discussed in detail later in the article. Before getting into the guidelines on what these elements are, let’s see how Resume builder can help you pass the 6-second test.

Using Resume Builder to PASS the 6-Second Test

You can always use the Resume Builder for any sort of help with resume writing. Not only is it effective, but it’s also very simple for even newbies to understand. Online resume builders often create many problems for their users. However, the best ones are perfect.

The key to passing a 6-second skim test is to make sure the formatting for your resume is just right. Resume Builder Pro can help you with smart formatting, along with professional diction that will impress the recruiter.

You can get all these features for your job resume for free! Creating a resume to pass the 6-second test will become a piece of cake after this.

Do’s and Don’ts for the 6-Second Test?

To write a perfect resume for the 6-second test, you need to start from the beginning. If you’re doing a resume for the first time, here are a few guidelines you can follow:

1. Be Concise

No recruiter wants to read paragraphs worth of information. Many people make the mistake of filling their work experience section with their job responsibilities and tasks. Don’t make the same mistake.

Be concise in every way possible. While working on the work experience section, try to use bullets when describing your role. This way, it will be easier for the hiring manager to skim through the bullets to get a better idea of your profile.

2. Be Relevant

Another mistake that most candidates make is that they bombard their resumes with information, achievements, and skills. The best tip that you can follow for the 6-second test is to be relevant.

Tailor your resume to every job that you apply for. Understand what the role requires and format your CV accordingly. The rest? Remove it.

Here’s an example: If you’re applying for the role of Finance Executive, you don’t need to enter in your achievements of winning an art competition or mention gaming as a skill. These aren’t relevant to the role and will probably cause the recruiter to be distracted.

3. Use Numbers

An up-and-coming tip as a resume best practice is to use numbers. Sometimes, mentioning ‘good at negotiating’ or ‘expert at creating database’ does not cut it. These are things that are often present in every resume. Therefore, you need to switch things up to stand out.

Using numbers to quantify your success is a good start. You can state a percentage by which you improved a process. You can mention the currency amounts that you saved for your company. You can even enter the number of sales you brought in by your effort.

This way, the recruiter can accurately gauge your impact on the company and see if you fit their role better.

4. Have White Space

 Hiring managers can get overwhelmed when there is too much information on one sheet of paper. This is where formatting can help you out. Make sure that all your content is aligned in a neat format. There should be enough white space for clarity.

In the process of showcasing too much, many candidates can make their text too congested. You can avoid that by formatting the line spacing, paragraph spacing. You can even make the text pop by using Bold text. However, be wary that you only use this feature for important section headings and job titles.

5. Proofread Your Resume

After you make your first resume, make sure you read everything again very carefully. There shouldn’t be any typos that might leave a bad impression on the hiring manager. Some people do not understand the rules of spelling, which is why you need to fix them all before submitting it.

If you have access, you can use grammar checking tools for free for your resume. They’ll help you identify where exactly you are lacking in your resume.

6. Advanced Tip

Putting together a resume can be a headache if you have tried to create one over and over again. Here’s an advanced tip that can help you get rid of the monotony – Take a break! Not enough people do this.

When you look at the same piece of paper for hours on end, you might end up ignoring or missing out on critical issues that need to be fixed. Identifying problems often require a fresh pair of eyes. If you can’t take a break, ask a friend to help out.

Ask them what the first 5 things are that they see or notice when they see your resume. These 5 things are usually the ones that create your impression on the recruiter.

7. Tracking Your Progress

When you’re done making your resume, try tracking your progress. Observe how many times you manage to clear the screening phase for companies. This step can help you identify your mistakes and fix them.

 Try to make sure that everything is in the correct order that makes sense to the recruiter.

Using important or relevant keywords can also help you get noticed by the recruiter. You can look up these keywords on the internet easily. Finally, make sure your resume is presentable and you’ll be good to go!


Job hunting is a tough, rigorous, and competitive process. Hopefully, this makes it much easier for you in finding your dream job. Best of luck with your CV screening!



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