Survey: Executives Spend an Average of Six Minutes Reading Each Resume

MENLO PARK, CA -- It’s usually flattering when someone hangs on your every word. For job seekers, this kind of scrutiny takes on a whole new meaning. According to a new survey by OfficeTeam, executives spend more than six minutes, on average, screening each resume received. Considering these documents are usually only one or two pages in length, this suggests many are being examined with a fine-toothed comb.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “Approximately how much time, in minutes, do you spend screening each resume when reviewing job applicants for an advertised position?
The average response was 6.4 minutes.

“Executives are paying extra attention to application materials to avoid costly hiring mistakes -- something no company can afford,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “To improve their chances of passing the initial screening process, job seekers should craft resumes that are accurate, clear and error-free.”

Hosking added, “In a highly competitive job market, hiring managers spend the most time on the best prospects, which means a candidate’s application must catch and keep their interest.”

OfficeTeam offers the following tips for creating an attention-grabbing resume: 

  • Get off to a good start. Be specific and concise when describing past accomplishments and highlight these achievements up front. This allows an employer to clearly recognize how you can impact the company’s bottom line.
  • Tailor the content. Customize your resume so it speaks directly to a potential employer’s needs -- mirror the language and keywords found in the job description.
  • Do the two-minute test. Ask a friend or family member to review your resume and summarize its key points for you. Make sure the most valuable information is being conveyed to readers. Also enlist the help of someone to proofread and check for typos.
  • Keep it simple. Refrain from using complicated language, graphics or distracting fonts that can make the resume difficult to read.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam provides businesses with the temporary administrative professionals they need to maximize productivity, achieve cost efficiency and support existing staff. The company has more than 325 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

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