top of page
  • Writer's pictureDope'rah

6 Seconds to Impress: Have Resumes Become the New Credit Card Application?

Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with job seekers at various stages of a career journey and have witnessed a common struggle: the tireless effort required to get invited for an interview.

woman interviewing another woman

I remember 14 years ago, when resume screening tools had become very popular and common. At the time, I was supporting job seekers of various demographics, career stages, and abilities in navigating this new landscape. So many qualified applications were submitted, and so many rejections were received. I vividly remember sitting with a colleague and discussing how there had to be a way to hack the system—and indeed, there was.

computer keyboard with send resume written on it

Technology has transformed the job application process, turning what used to be a straightforward task into a complex and confusing ordeal. Job seekers now find themselves playing a game of cat-and-mouse, continuously adapting their resumes and online profiles to match the ever-changing demands of recruiters and screening tools.

Moreover, recent studies have shown that many recruiters spend an average of just 6 seconds reviewing each resume. While this approach may seem efficient, in my opinion it is problematic. This can lead to unfair rejections and perpetuate unconscious biases. For example, if an applicant's name is difficult to pronounce or their experience is international and unfamiliar to the recruiter, this may trigger biases that lead to swift and potentially unfair rejections.

Imagine the amount of time spent on preparing an application, only for it to be evaluated in 6 seconds or less. It's the audacity, for me - but that's a conversation for another day.

Let's face it, searching for a job can feel like a never-ending marathon. Job seekers are expected to constantly network and customize resumes and profiles, which frankly put, is a full-time job in and of itself.

Woman in front of laptop

All this had me thinking: as technology continues to advance and recruiters spend less time screening, job seekers face mounting pressure to perfect their resumes and online presence. Frankly put, it's a daunting reality that raises the question: are resumes now similar to credit card applications, where even the slightest error can result in a swift rejection, in today's economy and labor market?

bottom of page