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Posted:  |  Updated: 05/23/12 12:00 PM ET

Job Resume: How Long Do Recruiters Spend Looking At Your Career Summary?

How long do job recruiters look at your resume? Seven minutes? Five? Two?

Actually, just six seconds, according to a new study released by TheLadders an online job search site.

The study used “eye tracking” technology, which can measure exactly where recruiters' eyes looked and how long they stayed on that spot. So what do they notice? They spend 80 percent of their brief review on six key elements of your resume: your name, the current company you work for, your previous employment, the start and end dates of your previous position, the start and end dates of your current position and your educational background.

Standing out from other prospective employees can be challenging with just seconds to make an impression. Here are five ways to do that, according to Marc Cenedella, founder and CEO of TheLadders.

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  • 1. Highlight Company Names

    Use consistent placement without taglines or long-winded explanations of what they do.

  • 2. Clearly Label Years Worked

    Months are okay to include. Exact day of the month is too much.

  • 3. Use Success Verbs

    Action verbs are key on a resume: Examples are reduced, grew, cut, expanded. Avoid bland passive language: hired to be, responsible for, etc. Find <a href="" target="_hplink">additional examples of succcess verbs here</a>.

  • 4. Keep It Simple

    Offer a clear description of who you are and what you want to do. Eliminate jargon and acronyms. Showcase your biggest accomplishments for other employers in concrete terms: how you increased revenue, cut costs, improved efficiency or otherwise helped the company meet its most important goals.

  • 5. Be Smart About Your Education

    Please, please do not fib. A study by the Society of Human Resource managers suggests<a href="" target="_hplink"> more than half of people tell a lie of some kind on their resume</a>. In 2006 the chief executive of RadioShack Corp. was forced out after the firm discovered he didn't have the college credentials he claimed.


Filed by Kristen Stenerson  |