Get noticed, get the job

First impressions count… your CV needs to be punchy and to the point, it will probably be read first by recruitment agents, or HR staff and not the person you would work for. Therefore it’s really important to get past these people to stand out from the crowd to have any chance of being interviewed. Recruiter look at loads of CVs every day so you need to ask yourself WHY am I so different? HOW can I stand out?. The recruiters / HR task will be to filter all CVs down to only a hand-full to pass on to the hiring manager. They look for any excuse to reject your CV – don’t give them any chance to do this.

  • Make it punchy, to the point (no body wants to read a load of waffle! )
  • Make sure your key points are highlighted
  • Have a summary of two or three lines at the top of the CV
  • Think about your cover letter, making sure you cover all key points
  • Check and re-check and save a PDF and don’t forget grammar and spelling

Our Survey said…

From the recruiter’s point of view

Grafham Walbancke recently conducted a survey and found;

  • The average recruiter or HR person will not read three pages, we recommend a good one pager or a maximum of a two page CV.
  • Make it relevant to the role, generic CV’s will reduce your chances significantly. You might find your background extremely interesting; how you reached the Duke of Edinburgh gold award or achieved your scout badge for lighting a fire, but nobody else will and it’s not relevant.
  • 10 seconds…the average HR or recruiter will usually skim your CV so avoid large chunks of text and use bullet points.

In an ideal world the recruiter will present maybe 3 or 4 CV’s… WHY should they consider yours? You must convince them you are a possible candidate within a few lines with easily scanned highlights.

Imagine a scenario where your CV is lying in a pile of ten CVs. How can you avoid the bin?

Remember that the person reviewing your CV might not fully understand the role and content of the role so make it easy to see you achievements. The person interviewing may not be the person who chose your profile and may not have much time to read your CV before the interview. Sometimes CVs are passed by human resources to the interviewer only hours or minutes before the interview.

The cover letter

The cover letter can get you rejected, even if you are a strong candidate. Make sure that the cover letter puts you in the pile for further consideration.

  • Refer to the job you are applying for. Be as specific as possible, mentioning the job title, and where you saw the ad. HR may well be recruiting for many positions, and are always looking to save time.
  • List a few reasons why you are suitable for the position, and draw attention to parts of your CV that are especially suited to this job.
  • Explain why you particularly want to work for them.

In summary

your CV should:

  • Be clear and have a good summary and cover letter
  • Be easy to read and understand
  • Be clear and reflect the key points in the job description
  • Be honest and catch the recruiter eye, think out side of the box.

Next.. How to write a winning CV