There’s a recent research from TheLadders, a mobile career network for professionals, that discovered that it takes just six seconds for recruiters to know whether they have a good resume on their hands or not. As a search consultant and recruiter I can believe that and here’s why.

It’s mainly due to high volume. On average, a typical job opening will receive between 200 up to 400 resumes depending on the type of job and industry, with corporate jobs getting the most applications.

I was talking to a community college HR rep and he said that he’s gotten over 300 applications for some of the positions he has announced, especially when he posts them on big job boards. According to BeHiring, a global recruitment portal, the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted and for those of you using major job boards like Monster to post your resume online, just keep in mind that 427,000 other resumes are also being posted each week.

So how do recruiters sort through the big pile of resumes in the shortest amount of time? Some employers like government and major big corporations use software programs that help them sort out applications that most closely match the job description using key words. Yet even with the help of software tools, recruiters still end up with a large batch and that’s when the clock starts ticking.

According to the research, in the first 6 seconds recruiters look at your name, current title and company, followed by your previous employer, title and your level of education. If all of that closely matches the position description, than your resume moves on to the next level.

The other important things recruiters look for when reviewing a resume takes a little longer, maybe a minute, and during that time recruiters can tell:

  • If it’s a newly crafted resume tailored for this job position, or if it’s a general template the person uses to apply to hundreds of jobs.

  • If the applicant took the time to create a clean and concise format. If a resume is more than 2 pages long it gets tossed. (The standard is 1-2 pages).

  • If there are spelling and grammatical errors, especially if you misspell the company name or the title of the position you are seeking.

  • If the application it’s incomplete. If the application calls for supplemental materials and your resume is not accompanied by them, then your application is not reviewed. (Supplemental materials include cover letters, questionnaires, writing samples etc).

If you want your resume to get you in the door make sure you know the main things recruiters look for and may the odds be ever in your favor. Good Luck!

Edith Molina is Co-Founder/CEO of BilingualHire, and also runs the annual ThinkMujer Summit that brings professional Latina women together from throughout the pacific northwest for a day of learning and sharing.