Richa Bansal

Can your Resume Break Through in 7 Seconds?

Any guesses on how much time a recruiter spends on a resume?


I’m not kidding! A recruiter only spends on average 7.4 seconds per resume. That is even less than the average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish which is 9 seconds. In other words, your resume has roughly 7 seconds to make an impression before it hits the "no" pile (can you feel the pressure?!).

Win the recruiters’ attention fast!

Boil your message down to 7 seconds.

Create a professional-looking resume and turn those 7 seconds into 30 seconds. Then turn those 30 seconds into 5 mins by writing about skills and experiences that are extremely relevant to the posted job. Read below on how to help your resume last longer than 7 seconds and achieve its ultimate goal: getting that interview call.

Before we dive in, let’s answer a few common questions.

What is a Resume?
A resume is a one-page summary of your education, previous experience, skills, and other relevant information. A resume creates a parallel between your experience and that needed by a company.

What a Resume is not?
A resume is not your autobiography. It does not need to include every single job, internship, and project you have ever done, or every single achievement you have had since high school. A resume must only include information that is RELEVANT to the role you are applying for.

Is a Resume different from CV?
A resume is not synonymous with Curriculum Vitae, or CV. According to, a resume is competency-based: it showcases your skills, notable achievements, and work experience and is tailored to the position that you apply for. A CV on the other hand is credential-based: a detailed listing of your education, certifications, research experience, professional affiliations, and memberships. It is typically used for applying in the fields of academia, scientific research, etc.

Can my Resume be 2 pages?
Unless you have a PhD to boast, stick to a 1-page resume. Even if you have been in the industry for 10 years, you can still condense your resume to 1-page by showcasing only your RELEVANT skills and experiences.


In this 2 hour power session, you will learn how to give your Resume a complete makeover in less than 24 hours.

Join the Live Resume Masterclass on 10 June, 5 PM EST that will help you put your best foot forward.

Must-do Tips to Make Your Resume Last Longer Than 7 Seconds

1. Prepare before you start

Before you start writing your resume, complete the 5 steps below:

  • Define your job search goals.
  • Do a self-assessment to find your top strengths and weaknesses.
  • Research field of interest and potential employers.
  • Make a listing of job postings you are interested in and review the job descriptions thoroughly.
  • Brainstorm concrete examples from your work history.

2. Get down to business

Start drafting your perfect resume. Make sure it has the following sections:
1. Contact information: Make it easy for recruiters to contact you. Provide phone#, email, and address at the minimum. You can also provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, website, etc. Make sure your email is professional. NO!

2. Professional summary (optional): A summary statement if written well, can add value, especially if you have been in the workforce for some time. This should be no more than 2 sentences long, and very clearly highlight your core value proposition.

3. Experience
: This is the core of your Resume. Include relevant work experiences and internships in this section. If you have been doing some pro bono (read full-time voluntary) work for a while, it should go in this section as well. If you are a student/recent grad, your academic projects also belong here. Showcase each experience through 2-4 bullet points. Each accomplishment statement must start with an action verb.

4. Leadership
: Companies love to see this section. Include any extra-curricular activities, either at work or school, in which you assumed a leadership role. Some examples are a leadership role in international student design competitions, board membership in professional societies, etc.

5. Education: This is an obvious one. If you are starting to struggle with space, I suggest limiting to your last two degrees, with the name of college and year of graduation at the minimum. Any honors or awards can also go here.

6. Professional Certifications and Courses (if applicable)
: Online course certifications like Coursera have explored in popularity. Include them in this section, along with other professional certifications like PMP, CFA, PE, etc.

7. Skills and Extras: This is a catch-all section. Include:
a. Skills and job requirement related keywords for ATS (applicant tracking system)
b. Professional membership
c. Relevant hobbies 
d. Etc.
"Your resume is an advertisement targeted towards your future manager."

3. Wrap it up

After you have written your resume, perfect it by ensuring it is error-free. Double-check for typos and grammatical errors. Ask at least 3 of your friends to proofread it. 

Bonus Tip: Get Additional Help for Resume Writing 

Outsource - Have your Resume Professionally Made:
You might be able to skip the above steps and get your resume professionally written by a resume writer. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if you decide to pay someone to write your resume, make sure you hire a true professional. Alternatively, you may want to write the first draft, and take it to a professional for review and final touches. These services may start as low as around $75 and can go as high as a few hundred.

Get the tools & DIY*:
Hiring a professional resume writing service is not always the best choice for everyone. It really depends on where you are in your career, how much experience you have, and what exactly you are looking for. 

If you are working on your resume yourself, getting the right tools to learn what goes into a well-written resume that stands out, is well worth the investment. You’ll quickly find that you’re doing more than just using a pre-set template or simple updates. You’re investing in yourself and in your career.

Pinkcareers offers a 24-hour Resume Makeover Masterclass that covers step-by-step instructions on how to write and format the perfect resume. Find more details at The Complete Resume and LinkedIn Makeover
(*DIY = Do It Yourself)

"May your job search be even shorter than your resume." 

Summing it up

It is easier to place someone in the “NO” pile, than in the “YES” pile. So, if you’re a job-seeker, it’s extremely important to make those precious few seconds count. Craft the perfect resume and convince the recruiter that you deserve an interview spot to prove why they must hire you for that job!

What is that one step you will take to make your resume last longer than 7 seconds?

If you have a personal story and lessons learned to share about how you’re owning your career, write to us at

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Richa Bansal is a seasoned professional with a decade of experience in strategy, operations, engineering, supply chain, and management. Richa earned a Bachelor’s from IIT Delhi in India, a Master’s from Purdue University, and an MBA from Rice University. 

Richa founded Pinkcareers so that women can get access to career development and coaching through a learning format that is flexible, effective, and meets the needs of modern working women.

When she is not working on Pinkcareers, she loves to travel the world with her husband and two little boys. 

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In this 2 hour power session, you will learn how to give your Resume a complete makeover in less than 24 hours.

Join the Live Resume Masterclass on 10 June, 5 PM EST that will help you put your best foot forward.
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