Your Resume Has 6 Seconds to Shine

There was a recent article, “What Recruiters Look At During the 6 Seconds They Spend On Your Resume“, that put together a heat map that tracked the eye movements of 30 recruiters. Pretty interesting article — but what I’m here to share with you today is the 6 basic things you should absolutely, positively, without a doubt include on your resume, to make the most of those ’6 seconds’.

1. Your name 

Seems simple, but if I can’t find your name, how do you expect me to identify you or know who you are if you don’t have your name CLEARLY stated on your resume? And if your name is Michael but you go by Tony (I’m not going to ask why, though I’m sure there’s a great story), either answer to both names or make it clear what your preference is.

2. Email

In today’s world, most companies have an online application process you go through to submit your resume and profile. More often than not, your email address is your unique identifier and the best way to get in touch with you. (Not your name, your email. Do you know how many Sejal Patels there are out there? A lot.) But also use an appropriate email address — might work for your friends, but you may want to reconsider for a job application.

3. Phone number

Even though we live in a high-tech world, phone calls are still widely used in recruiting to contact candidates about a job opening that sounds perfect, to conduct a phone screen, or just to confirm that the resume is up-to-date. Make sure you list the best phone number where a recruiter can reach you, and if you don’t have voicemail set up yet, now would be a good time.

4. GPA 

It’s pretty amazing how many people leave their GPA off their resume, especially good ones! Brag a little! While GPAs aren’t the only indication of learning, when you’re getting an incredibly high number of resumes, it’s often used as a filter. Many companies have a minimum GPA they use to screen resumes as well. If you think by leaving your GPA off your resume, you’ll be able to sneak in, think again. It’s one of the first questions my company asks, and it would save both of us some time if it’s on your resume from the get-go.

5. Degree and graduation date

Tell us what you’re studying and when you’re expected to finish. This will help us figure out if you’re looking for a full-time position or an internship. It’ll also help us gauge where you might fit, based on your academic background. Not sure if you’ll be graduating in the summer or the fall? Just put what you think is most likely at the time you submit your resume, and update it later. When you do update your resume, be sure to update your resume in all of your online profiles so that the most up-to-date version is available.

6. Work status

We want to know if you have the permanent unrestricted right to work in the United States or if you’ll need sponsorship. Depending on the company and its hiring needs, it may or may not be able to sponsor employees but this is information that is best to share up front.

Bonus Tip:

Watch for white space

Recruiters go through tons of resumes every day. While I’m sure you’re quite an impressive candidate, use your resume wisely and be sure to include some white space. A clear, concise and nicely formatted resume will be easier on a recruiter’s eyes, and will garner more attention, than a poorly formatted and spaced resume with no white space, but lots of accomplishments.

Does your resume include these 6 basics? Do you have a 7th bonus that should be included?


Sejal is a Recruitment Marketing Project Manager at Intel. She is part of the team that is responsible for Intel’s global employment brand. This team helps connect candidates with Intel and Intel with candidates using channels such as the Jobs at Intel web site, the Life at Intel microsite and other Web 2.0 channels. Sejal specifically manages theJobs at Intel Blog and Intel’s recruitment Facebook strategy. Originally from Toronto, Ontario (yes—a real, breathing Canadian!), Sejal graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communications before starting at Intel in 2008. When she’s not working, you’ll find Sejal working at crossing things off of her Bucket List (which includes skydiving, reading 1000 books and traveling the world), eating cupcakes or spending time with family and friends. To learn more about opportunities with Intel, visit, follow Intel on Twitter @JobsatIntel or check out the Jobs@Intel blog!

Related posts:

  1. 5 Resume Basics
  2. Ready Your Resume
  3. Does Your Resume Show The Top 7 Soft Skills?

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