7 Seconds or Less: (Part 1/2) Why Your Resume Needs to Make a Quick Impact

 In IT Staffing

Jonathan Ward | President and CEO | Twitter | LinkedIn

Basketball is by far my favorite sport. I’ve played it since I was a kid and have loved it the entire time.

Years ago I read a book called “:07 Seconds Or Less” by Jack McCallum which is a great read detailing the Phoenix Suns’ 2005-2006 NBA season.  The main implication of book’s title is that Coach D’Antoni believes that his offense can be most effective and get easy points if they try to score in the first 7 seconds of each offensive possession they have. This stems from the opponents defense not having time to properly set up so by pushing the offensive tempo you take advantage of their defence being in transition and can get some easy buckets. Steve Nash, one of my favorite players ever,  led this offense for Phoenix for years.

Making the most of your Window of Opportunity with your Resume.

Recruiters Spend Less Than 5 Seconds Reviewing the Average IT Resume

In the IT staffing industry we review thousands of resumes per year. Recruiters in our industry review over 30,000 resumes in a single year.  The average IT Recruiter will spend less than 5 seconds reviewing your resume. For this reason you want to make sure your resume has the maximum amount of impact in those first seconds it is being reviewed.

Here are some points to keep in mind to increase the time your resume is reviewed and increase your chances of getting an interview. Make sure to include the following when writing your resume:

Work Experience:

General Layout: Within your work history it is important to put your various jobs in reverse chronological order. So your most recent job is displayed first then the job before that one, etc.

For each Job in your Work Experience section the following details should be clear:

  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Dates you worked at that company. These should include the month and year you started the job and the month and year you finished the job.
  • Key Responsibilities/Technologies: Too many people list the technologies they have used at the top of their resume in the Skills Summary section but forget to detail them in the Work Experience section. This is one of the most common and biggest mistakes you can make. Recruiters or Hiring Managers routinely look at work experience details to see what technologies you have worked with and where/when you used those technologies. They also look at each job to gauge how many years you’ve worked with a technology. If you’ve worked with C# for 8 years but in your work experience it only shows up in the job details of a job you had for 2 years they might assume you only worked with C# for 2 years. This could cost you an interview.

Resume Length

Job seekers often think they need to write an IT resume in a 1-2 page format. I disagree with this. The Work Experience section of your IT resume should be detailed. You should include the major projects you worked on at each job and also make sure to include all the technologies you worked with on each project. Obviously you will write more details about technologies you used the most but there is no downside to include the other technologies you worked with. If a Recruiter or Hiring Manager isn’t interested in the extra details they can just skip that section. But if they are looking for a specific rare technology that you worked with, mentioning it could get you an interview you would miss otherwise.


In Part 2 of this post, I’ll be applying the same theory, the importance of time and quick impact to another area – the mobile website.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to share your thoughts or comments on this post you can make your way to one of our social media channels!




Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search