Does Your Resume Pass the 18 Second Scan? Excerpt from Mashable: There’s some debate about how many seconds a recruiter spends looking over a resume, but we can all agree that it’s not a lot. With such limited time to get important information across, anything you can do to make your resume easier to skim could mean the difference between the forward or toss piles. So, after you’ve spent some time perfecting the content of those sections and bullet points, it’s time to make sure they’re as easy (and appealing!) to read as possible. Here are 12 little formatting tricks you can use to help recruiters and hiring managers get the most from your resume during their six- to 18-second scan. 1. Don’t center any of your text Even your section headings should be aligned to the left. This improves readability because the eye naturally returns to the left margin once it’s ready to move on to the next line of text. 2. Align your dates and locations to the right You can only fit so much different information (company name, job title, location, dates of employment) on one line of text before it gets unwieldy. To help separate out your information, make a separate column for dates and locations that is right adjusted. On most word processors, you should be able to just create a right-tab. 3. Don’t justify your resume Overall, using a justified setting for your bullets may make your resume look tidier, but it does nothing for readability. This setting leaves uneven gaps between words that ultimately make text harder to read, so for your bullets and resume overall, stick with regular ol’ left alignment. 4. Keep everything the same size font Aside from your name, which should be a little bigger, the font size throughout your resume should be the same size to ensure readability. Rather than using font size for emphasis throughout your resume, use bolding, italics and all-caps — sparingly, of course. 5. Pick either your roles or your companies to bold Bolding of select words and phrases helps with scanning, but you don’t want to go overboard. So choose what to bold wisely, depending on the message you want to send. If your job titles effectively illustrate your path to management-level roles, bolding those might make the most sense. On the other hand, if you’re a new grad and most of your experiences are internships, you might benefit more from emphasizing the companies on your resume. For more tips on perfecting your resume, visit Mashable.