A Lightening Guide to Grabbing a Recruiter’s Attention in Under Six Seconds


The job sector is more competitive than its ever been, and with more and more people than ever before trying to find the jobs they want to work in, companies are cracking down in all areas of the recruitment process.

Most notably, recruiters are looking through dozens, potentially hundreds, of applications per vacancy, which means they’re strict with what resumes they read and how they organize them. As a rule of thumb, you’re going to want to grab your recruiter’s attention in six seconds, meaning they’ll pay attention to you and therefore maximizing the chances you have of getting the job.

Today, we’re going to explore how you can write a resume that will fit these criteria, ensuring you’re able to get the jobs you apply for.

Start Strong – Introduction

The most important part of your resume is the introduction because this is the first thing they’ll see, and therefore the only chance you’ll have to grab their attention. Keep this short and a couple of sentences max.

“Within it, talk about the type of person you are, what you’re looking for in a company and how valuable you are as an employee. Talk briefly about what you plan to bring into the company,” says Mark Harris, a member of startup HR in Academized and AustralianReviewer.

Implement Sections with Headers

Another way to grab your recruiter’s attention is to format and structure your resume using sections, each labeled with its own headline. This is a great way to make it look like your resume is easy to read and the recruiter can easily jump to the section they are most interested in reading.

Showcase Your Personality

There’s no point in submitting a generic resume that simply lists off what you think the recruiter wants to read. Instead, it’s far more beneficial to be yourself and implement some of your personality into the resume to show who you really are.

There’s a huge amount of importance in the modern business world where recruiters will be looking for employees who fit their company culture, and this will depend on your personality. Allow your resume to reflect this.

Use Keywords

No matter what industry you’re applying to enter or what job you’re going for, there are going to relevant keywords that relate to that industry and help you stand out. When writing your resume, you need to make sure you’re placing these keywords in strategic locations.

These include the first sentences of each section, and the subheadings themselves. This will showcase the fact you have experience in the industry and will be exactly what the recruiter is looking for.

“What’s more, keywords are important because a lot of HR departments will use applicant tracking software that scans and selects resume for the recruiter to read. If you don’t include these keywords, the automatic software will simply reject your resume before anyone is able to read it,”  shares Tom Ashley, a tech blogger for TopCanadianWriters and StudentWritingServices.com.

Talk About Company Brands

When you’re talking about the companies you’ve worked for in the past, don’t be afraid to talk about their branding and company culture. If you’ve worked in several companies and they have cultures that fit the one you’re applying for, you’ll have a much greater chance of being selected because they know you’ll fit into it.

Avoid Common Mistakes

There are plenty of mistakes people commonly make on their resumes, and in order to maximize your chances of being selected for the next stage of the recruitment process, you’ll need to make sure you’re avoiding them at all costs.

To help you stay in the know and aware of what you’re looking out for, some of these mistakes include;

  • Avoid submitting a resume with grammar, spelling and typo mistakes
  • Not proofreading your resume and making sure everything makes sense
  • Not including your contact information clearly within your resume
  • Not being specific enough with what you say and being too generic
  • Not closing your resume in a strong way (see below)
  • Having a resume that’s too long or too short (one full page is about right)
  • Talking about your duties rather than your achievements

If you can go through your resume to ensure you’re not implementing any of these common mistakes, you’ll already be way ahead of the other applicants that haven’t bothered.


As you can see, there are plenty of things you’ll need to think about when it comes to writing a resume that grabs your reader’s attention. In short, you want to make sure your resume is as easy to read as possible, and the recruiter can easily consume the information you’re providing them.

If you make things difficult or complicated in any way, they’ll simply disregard your resume, and you’ll have lost your chance at getting the job you’re applying for.

Grace Carter is a proofreader at Revieweal and RatedWriting services. She helps editors with submissions, reviews online content and checks reviews. Also, Grace teaches academic writing at Grade On Fire, educational website.

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