You Have Six Seconds. Make them Count.

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A recent survey by career site The Ladders (click here for the survey itself), recruiters spend a whopping six seconds reviewing individual resumes.  By way of comparison, a professional bull rider must remain on the bull for eight seconds for the ride to qualify.  Some job seekers might equate their job search to a rodeo and this survey might only serve to reinforce that perception.  With only six seconds to make the best impression, how can candidates differentiate themselves and rise above the noise?

For many customer service positions, resumes tend to look alike, which makes it significantly more difficult for candidates to distinguish themselves.  The Ladders survey suggests that profiles that include pictures, such as LinkedIn, can be more of a distraction than a help.  Many recruiters are pressed for time and will make snap decisions about which candidates advance to later stages of the interview process.  For many customer service positions, such as call center agents, the applicant’s appearance can be less relevant in determining his or her qualifications than how well the applicant communicates.  Applicants can set themselves apart by answering a few short, customer service-oriented questions which highlights their communication and customer service skills.

Virtual interviewing technologies can capture this “voice of the applicant” quickly and conveniently.  Recruiters often listen to short snippets of a candidate’s speech to make a determination of his or her communication skills.  When screening large numbers of candidates, the time savings is significant.

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