improved resume

How to Ace the 6 Second Resume Test Every Time and Rule the Game

September 9, 2022

How to Ace the 6 seconds resume test every time and rule the game? With practical tips and examples

Whether it is a job seeker or a career shifter both require a resume to apply for jobs or new roles. However, seeking a role change or finding a new job never seems easy. As typically a resume is a gateway to an interview or a discussion – we dig deep into how to make it work.

The average person’s attention span is 6 seconds and employers are inundated with applications, so it is your responsibility to use those precious few seconds wisely and impress employers with your skills and abilities. But how can you make people look at your resume?

This post is a part of the Guide to making a professional resume in 7 easy steps. You can check the main post to further deepen your understanding of the topic.

What is the 6 second resume test?

The Six Second Resume Test is a simple way of testing what someone understands by skimming your resume in 6 seconds. Often recruiters create a perception in just a few seconds and shortlist or reject the resume in a short time. Hence, passing this test is important.

Why do recruiters use the 6 seconds test to do a resume scan?

For employers; the 6-second resume test is a great way to weed out unqualified candidates quickly. Given that employers want to spend as little time on a resume as possible. Often, the resume doesn’t even reach the hands of a recruiter or hiring manager but is instead parsed and matched by a machine called the applicant tracking system (ATS).

The 6-second resume scan forces candidates to distill their experience and skills down to their essence, which can be helpful in writing a clear and concise resume.

There are several disadvantages that the 6-second resume scan brings:

  • The test can be unfair to candidates with less experience or who have not had the opportunity to distill their skills down to such a short format.
  • It also favors candidates who have had previous practice writing resumes that conform to this format.

Is the six second rule a myth?

The 6-second rule is based on industry averages and the fact that people form first impressions very quickly, and that these impressions are hard to change. Often people misunderstand this rule and think that the resume is shortlisted in 6 seconds – It’s not. A resume is rejected in 6 seconds. Clearing the 6-second mark gives you the right to get the attention of the recruiter for another 30 seconds, and that is when the decision is made. So your resume should be ready for both the 6-second and 30-second tests. Read on to know how to pass these stages.

How to pass the 6 second resume test?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your resume passes the 6-second test. First, make sure your resume is clear and concise. Second, use strong action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Finally, use simple language that can be easily understood.

  • Make sure your resume is clear, concise, and easy to read. Use bullet points and short sentences rather than long paragraphs.
  • Highlight your most relevant experience and skills for the position you are applying for.
  • Make sure your contact information is prominently displayed at the top of the page.

What are the benefits of acing the six seconds resume test?

1. Increased opportunities: When you can distill your experience and qualifications into such a short time frame, you open yourself up to more opportunities. You can use this resume test to quickly apply for jobs that you may have otherwise not had the time to pursue.

2. Improved first impressions: In today’s competitive job market, it’s important to make a good first impression. By acing the 6-second resume test, you’re ensuring that your resume will stand out from the rest and give you a better chance of getting noticed by potential employers.

3. Greater clarity: One of the benefits of distilling your experience into such a short time frame is that it forces you to be clear about what is most important. This can help you focus your job search and ensure that your applications are tailored to each position.

4. More confidence: When you know your resume is strong enough to pass the six-second test, it gives you a boost of confidence when applying for jobs or networking with potential employers

Detailed Tips to pass the 6-second resume test

Make the resume easy to skim

The 6-second resume test is a way to quickly assess whether a resume is worth reading. The idea is that if you can’t tell what the person’s qualifications are within 6 seconds, then the resume is too long and/or difficult to read.

There are a few things you can do to make your resume easier to skim:

1) Use clear headings and subheadings to break up the text and help the reader find what they’re looking for.

2) Use bullet points or short paragraphs instead of long blocks of text.

3) Highlight keywords and phrases with bold or italics.

4) Use white space generously to make the page more visually appealing and easier on the eyes.

Let’s go through some examples to understand this. Take a look at the below snippet and assume that you are skimming the resume like a recruiter. What impression does this give you? And remember when you are skimming you are likely reading the bold.

6 second test for a resume

And now give it a go-again to this new version which has emphasis at separate points.

resume snippet for recruitment test

The two versions focus on different things and give the recruiter a different impression.

Formatting matters

The 6-second resume test is a way to measure the effectiveness of your resume in a very short amount of time. Essentially, you have six seconds to make a good impression with your resume before the reader moves on.

How to format your resume:

There are a few key things to keep in mind when formatting your resume for the 6-second test. First, make sure that your contact information is prominently displayed and easy to find. Second, use clear and concise language throughout your resume. Third, use bullet points or short paragraphs to highlight your most relevant qualifications and experience. Finally, be sure to proofread your resume carefully before sending it out.

What to include in your resume:

When it comes to what to include in your resume for the 6-second test, less is more. Stick to the essentials – name, contact information, education, work experience, skills – and leave out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Remember that you only have six seconds to make an impression, so make sure that every word counts!

Use bullet points wisely

The 6-second resume test is a way to measure how quickly and easily someone can read and understand your resume. Here are some tips on using bullet points:

  • Make sure they’re relevant
  • only include information that is directly related to the job you’re applying for.
  • Use short, concise phrases – avoid long, drawn-out sentences. Our guidance is that a bullet should be in a single line and hence should not be more than 16 to 18 words
  • Highlight keywords and phrases – use bold or italics to help important information stand out
  • Start a bullet with an action verb such as managed, led, effected, etc.

Focus on achievements in the content

The 6-second resume test is a way to measure the effectiveness of your resume. It is said that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before moving on to the next one. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your resume is able to grab the attention of the reader and hold it long enough to communicate your key points.

When writing your resume, it is important to focus on your achievements rather than simply listing your responsibilities. This can be done by using action verbs and quantifiable metrics. For example, instead of saying “I was responsible for managing a team of 10 people,” you could say “Managed a team of 10 people and increased productivity by 20%.” By using numbers and concrete examples, you will be able to communicate your accomplishments more effectively.


Here are some examples of how you can focus on achievements in your resume:

-Successfully implemented a new customer service strategy that resulted in a 25% decrease in customer complaints

-Trained and developed a team of 5 customer service representatives, resulting in an increase in sales by 15%

-Managed a budget of $100,000 and successfully reduced costs by 10%

Quantify your achievements to show the value achieved

The 6-second resume test is a way to measure the quality of your resume in a short amount of time.

How to quantify your achievements:

You can quantify your achievements by adding numbers and percentages to show how much you have accomplished. For example, if you increased sales by 10%, you would include that number on your resume.

The FOLD test – a scientifically proven way to get attention

What is the FOLD test?

The FOLD test is a scientifically proven way to get attention. It is based on the premise that people are more likely to notice something if it is in their field of view.

How to do the FOLD test?

How Humans Read – the Science behind the FOLD Test and how it is important for you


As you can see in the video the human brain is trained to skim documents in a certain fashion. The video covers both the “Z” pattern and the “Inverted N”. Your resume must be formatted accordingly so that you invite the recruiter to spend another 30 seconds on your resume and shortlist you for the interview. Do remember to focus on Quadrant 1 – which is the golden quadrilateral of your resume.

What should I do after taking the FOLD test

Get a friend or an expert to review your resume

Fold the resume into a single quadrant and give it to your friends and see what they can make out of it. Rework the resume on the basis of the feedback.

Get a free resume review

There are a few different ways to get a free resume review. One way is to post your resume on social media groups or a resume-sharing site and ask for feedback from other users. You can get a free resume review from Sukiru by visiting the link

What to expect from a resume review with Sukiru

Sukiru’s A.I. Based Resume Review is a free service that helps you evaluate your resume for potential job opportunities. The service uses 55+ parameters to analyze your resume and provides you with a detailed report that includes recommendations on how to improve it.

The review comes with a score and a detailed explanation of how to improve your resume. Get a free resume review.


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