To be successful in today’s job market, it pays to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. After all, their perception of your CV could result in a job interview or another rejection. Having a basic understanding of how recruiters review CVs and what they look for will give you an advantage when it comes to writing one effectively. Before writing your CV, consider the following aspects of recruiters’ mindset.
Make the hiring manager want to open your CV
Even the best CV in the world will be useless if it sits unread in a recruiter’s overflowing inbox. In an ideal world, recruiters would open every CV they receive and study each one carefully. But in reality, they often receive hundreds of applications each day and there just isn’t enough time to open them all.
To get your CV noticed, you must include a tailored cover note in every one of your applications. Whether you are applying via a job website or direct email, write a friendly and professional paragraph to introduce yourself, build rapport, and explain why your CV is worth reading.
Make your CV easy to skim-read
Recruiters are pushed for time, so they will usually spend a few seconds skimming your CV for must-have terms before they decide to commit to reading it fully. To pass this preliminary test, make your CV extremely easy to read with a clean, simple font, clearly divided sections and short, sharp points.
Never make readers wade through large paragraphs of text or you will risk losing their interest quickly. You should also research your target roles thoroughly to identify your most sought-after skills and ensure they are made prominent at the top of your CV. Providing a pleasant reading experience and reflecting the recruiter’s needs in your CV will hold their attention and create a perfect first impression.
Buff up your current or most recent role
Once recruiters have had a quick scan of your CV, they will look at your current or most recent role. This role is easily the best way to measure your current capabilities, so recruiters will spend lots of time reviewing this part of your CV. Spend plenty of time writing this role description and think about the questions that recruiters will want to know when reading it:
Structure the role with an introductory sentence to build context, then bullet point your responsibilities, and round the role off with some impressive achievements.
Use data as evidence
Numbers are crucial for recruiters to understand your seniority and impact, and benchmark you against other candidates. Many job seekers make bold claims in their CVs, but very few back them up with facts and figures, so buck the trend to stand out.
Demonstrate the scale of your responsibilities by including numbers such as the size of budget you manage, or number of locations you work across. These figures provide a scale that everybody can understand and leave recruiters in no doubt of the level you work at.
Prove your impact by including quantifiable achievements you have driven during your roles. Perhaps you have generated sales of £300k within six months, or maybe you have delivered a project that affected 3 million customers. Include these stats to show exactly what an employer can expect when they hire you.
Weed out mistakes
Providing just one bad CV to a client can ruin a recruiter’s reputation, so even the smallest of inconsistencies can deter them from shortlisting you. Glaring spelling and grammar mistakes will obviously be red flags, but they will also be on the lookout for any gaps in employment, or facts that just don’t add up.
Proof read your CV thoroughly, check all of your dates, and don’t be tempted to add any white lies. Even something as trivial as an unprofessional email address can worry a recruiter, so keep everything looking as slick as possible and don’t give them any reason to doubt you.
Essentially, recruiters just want to find the candidate who matches their client’s brief as closely as possible – it’s that simple. Ultimately, if you can show them that you have the skills and experience they are looking for, then you stand a good chance of being selected. If you also adopt clarity in the formatting of your CV to consider recruiter’s time constraints and workloads, you will see plenty of interview requests coming your way.
Source The Guardian