Eye-tracking: Your CV is Evaluated in Only 6 Seconds

Is it possible to improve your curriculum vitae and make a better impression on HR managers? What criteria do recruiters use to judge CVs? The company TheLadders surveyed a handful HR managers and summarised their results.

The TheLadders specialises in advising job seekers and offers services in the area of CV preparation. Their study found that well-structured CVs drew attention to the important points, thus allowing the HR manager to have a clear understanding of the applicant and lead them to make a better hiring decision. The study is very compelling on the matter of “eye-tracking”. The eye movements of HR managers were tracked as they read the various CVs. Take a look at the study.

A comparison of eye-tracking between unstructured and clearly structured CVs:TheLadder-Blickerfassung-Lebenslauf

(Image source: TheLadders, 2014)

Results of the TheLadders study, “Keep an eye on recruiter behaviour”:


list_okOn average, your CV gets 6 seconds of attention

list_okWhen evaluating a CV, 80% of an HR manager’s time is spent reviewing the following sections:

  • Name
  • Current job
  • Previous jobs
  • Start and end dates of previous jobs
  • Start and end dates of current job
  • Education

list_okclear structure illustrates the most important parts of your curriculum.

  • HR managers find clear structures more readable and easier to access. Clearly structured CVs were given better evaluations overall.

list_okOnce the initial decision on your CV has been made (yes or no, in most cases based on the six points mentioned above), the rest of the content has very little influence over the decision. After that even an automated evaluation of key words appears not to have a decisive influence.

Find more tips on job applications here on our blog under our CV writing tag.

 for JobisJob

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