It’s been reported that hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds (5 – 7 seconds, on average!) reviewing each CV that they receive. In such a short space of time, how are you supposed to make a good impression, and get your application into that ‘yes’ pile?
In an ideal world you will tailor your CV for each role that you apply for. If this is not possible, think about the wider skills and experience that you want to get across when looking through these points.
Make your CV relevant
- Do some homework first. Check out the company’s website and see what they have to say about their people and their values. What kind of language do they use to describe working there? It’s worth including a few of their words into your CV to show that you can relate to their culture.
- It almost goes without saying that you should read the person specification very closely, and ensure you demonstrate meeting that criteria. Equally, don’t get too hung up on skills you don’t have that could be trained – there will be some flexibility.
Keep your CV concise
- As you have only seconds, there is simply no point in submitting in pages upon pages of information. CV’s that are 1 -2 pages (possibly 3) are ideal.
- Many people keep adding to a CV that was originally written years before. It is much better to take a fresh approach each time you re-enter the job market so that you can focus on your most recent and relevant achievements.
Start off on the right foot
- You’ve got to be able to grab the attention of the hiring manager. This is why the opening is so important. It needs to represent who you are and the kind of impression that you want to give to the recruiter.
- This section should entice the reader with an insight into your relevant skills and experience, and make them want to continue reading.
- Make sure there are no mistakes, any typos or spelling mistakes will really put off the reader.
- Make sure the headings stand out, and that it’s easy to navigate your way around. Use bullet points to help statements stand out. Nothing puts a reader off like a big block of text.
- Above all, give your CV the 30 second test once finished. If you can read the professional profile, headings, and key bits of information all in under half a minute, then you might just stand a chance of catching the employer’s eye.
- Ensure that your CV covers all the essential information: name, full employment and education histories, etc.
- Using facts and figures can really help to boost your chances too. Employers will be able to see that you can support the statements that you make with real evidence.
At this first stage of the application process, the recruiter is looking to form a first interview list. At times, quick decisions will be made, so your CV is an important document for your job search. Even through a recruitment agency, whilst we will chat through CVs and send supporting information, your CV will be the document that ultimately gives that first impression.
Click here to view our CV template; CV Template 2022