To rightly judge someones productivity, one should take the total time spent and look at all the achievements made in this time spend. However, when someone has a complicated list of achievements, people tend to find this some too complicated: one should add and subtract multiple items, for which sometimes the required information is not available (good cvs should have this information by the way). And if you have an answer, you can not know for sure whether it is correct (maybe that honors program required additional ECTS?).


Therefore people tend to skip calculating how long you effectively needed to complete your studies if your resume contains many different items such as extra curricular activities and work experience.


This also resonated with our analysis about consultant cvs, where we found that typically consultants tend to spend a long time studying.


Actionable advice:

Take this into account when choosing between graduating early and taking on a new extra curricular responsibility or interesting project. And more importantly: it probably makes more sense to get high grades for 3 courses and skip one than to get medium grades for all 4.


Back to common cognitive biases of people reading a cv