Can You Really Get Hired in 6 Seconds?

It’s long been accepted that recruiters can decide within seconds whether or not to take someone’s application forward. Many will admit to a 10 second CV glance, whilst some research has shown the figure to be more like 6 seconds.

Whilst it may seem incredible that the ‘fit or no fit’ question can be subliminally answered so quickly, there is little doubt that the importance of being able to make an immediate positive impression is vital.

The topic of 6 second assessments has been in the news again this week when it emerged that US journalist Dawn Siff significantly boosted her job hunt with the creation of the one of the world’s first Vine CVs.

Vine is the Twitter application that enables people with a mobile device to create a 6 second video, which can then be instantly shared. Dawn created hers in February and needless to say the viral reach was almost immediate. One such example…



The major news networks in the US have been quick to pick up on this phenomenon. Wall Street Journal incorporated this into the general view that Twitter is becoming the new 140 character CV. “…some recruiters are turning to the social network to post jobs, hunt for candidates and research applicants” they say, whilst “Job seekers, in turn, are trying to summarize their CVs in 140 characters or six-second videos”.

Whilst most examples of a successful Twitter recruitment campaign often result from conversations online – eg, this year’s award for Excellence in Recruitment at the HR Directors Distinction Awards went to social housing group Bromford for their #gottalovecake twitter recruitment campaign – the success and reach of Dawn Siff’s 6 second video, with its clever use of props such as a Rubik’s Cube and a light saber, coupled with hashtag style descriptions like ‘idea machine’ and ‘deadline Jedi’, is hard to ignore. It even got her a slot on national TV.

But is this a one-off or a trend?

Respected US HR blogger Laurie Ruettiman was in little doubt the former “If you are a Human Resources professional and you even consider hiring someone based off a Vine resume, you should be fired for dereliction of duty”. She also fears job seekers rushing to copy “And I am really worried that job seekers are gonna mimic this smart and clever woman because some tech journalist thinks that Vine is the 21st century answer to the resume.”

Whilst online tech journal Mashable originally championed the Vine CV they did acknowledge, when writing about her finding a new role, that whilst the video ‘impressed’ her new bosses it was some more traditional job seeking activities played the major part in her being hired.

As Dawn writes on her own blogPeople are asking whether my Vine Resume and its media coverage got me hired. I actually got this job through old fashioned networking, a referral by a friend. But I would say that the Vine Resume did impress them once I was in the door”.

In fact a look at the infographic she produced on the blog shows that her 6 months job seeking involved:

  • 10 networking calls
  • 12 networking meetings
  • 2 networking groups
  • 6 networking events
  • 12 informational interviews
  • 9 job interviews
  • 64 hours in continuing education classes

So whilst the publicity from her Vine CV may well have helped, it was good old-fashioned networking, research and knowledge upskilling that ultimately did the trick!

Let us know if you’ve ever tried anything unusual in the job hunt…