Do recruiters reject a resume in less than six seconds?

Yes. And as a hiring manager, I’ll tell you why.

I read a lot of resumes. When I post a position for a mechanical engineer, I expect to receive more than 100 resumes. I don’t have time to read them all, but I do have to select candidates and start interviewing them.

When I pick up a resume, I skim it on a first pass to see if the resume is addressing the requirements for the job I’m hiring for, or if it is simply an autobiography in outline form. I can tell that pretty quickly, and I’ll toss the autobiographies.

If you want your resume to be noticed and read, focus it entirely on the requirements for the job you are applying for. Don’t include items that don’t speak directly to the position—we can cover that stuff in the interview. Make your resume your marketing brochure to tell me why you fit the position. If you do that, I’ll see it easily within six seconds and you’ll more likely be invited to an interview.