Career Services puts resumes to the 6 second test

Matthew Owczarz


Humber students put their resumes to the test as part of a’ Career Services’ back to school event this week

Representatives from Career Services came down to the Humber North campus’ LRC to evaluate the resumes through a hiring manager’s ‘six second test’ from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

“Research shows that hiring managers look at resumes for six seconds before deciding if they go in the yes or no pile,” said Allison Scully, Career Resource Developer from Student Success and Engagement. “We asked students to bring their printed resumes so our resume reviewers could look at them for six seconds and provide feedback.”

Students from Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber went up, one by one, with resumes in hand or on their computers to see if they could pass the six second test.

“Usually people mess up and forget to provide a phone number so they can’t get a call back,” said Brooke Stevens, a resident tutor from career services. “Having a clear layout and no grammar mistakes is also important for the reader. Obviously education is also important for some employers.”

The resumes were evaluated based on seven categories: contact information, focus, education, job titles, dates, grammar and layout.

“Yeah, I passed the test! Just a couple of mistakes here and there and some formatting issues I didn’t notice,” said business accounting student Peter Ramcharran.

Pass or fail, students who went also received an evaluation handout that provided critical advice and tips on how to best improve their resumes.

“I passed the test and got so many positive tips to help improve my resume,” computer networking student Prabhat Pandey said after taking the test. “In the future, I would definitely visit the Career Centre for more help.”

Most resumes were well written and passed the six second test, it’s the small mistakes that convince employers not to contact applicants, Scully said.

“About 75 per cent of the resumes usually pass the test. Only a few people with missing contact info or various spelling mistakes get an actual automatic fail,” Stevens said.

Students who failed the test or who were uncertain about resume writing were directed to the Career Centre, which is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We offer help with resumes, cover letters and other applications at Career Services for students,” Stevens said. “Except there we don’t just offer six seconds. Usually we see students for half an hour or however long they need, and they can come back anytime for additional help.”