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How to stop recruiters throwing out your CV

Posted on: 20 Jan 12
How to stop recruiters throwing out your CV

Summary

Recruiters are very busy people, and typically have little time to read and select CVs for any given role. For them it’s a filtering process, often starting with a pile of CV’s and throwing out the bad ones before reading in more detail, the ones that are left. Therefore your task is NOT to get thrown out with the bathwater, and ensure that your CV is one of the ones that makes it past the first cull!

So how do you stop your CV being thrown out?

Well, it’s about clear presentation and clarity of content. A typical recruiter will take literally seconds to decide if your CV is worth reading in full, rejecting or selecting.

So here are a few tips that you should consider when creating or revising your CV…

  • Avoid gimmicks – photos, silly borders or pink paper don’t impress
  • Use short sentences with no unnecessary adjectives - anything more is just padding
  • Only use content relevant to the specific application – otherwise it’s harder for them to spot if you’re suitable for the role
  • Use bullet point lists rather than long paragraphs – it’s just simply cleaner
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms where possible – the recruiter might not be familiar with them
  • Don’t include too much detail in your CV – they can always ask for more
  • Use the top half of the first page for Key Information – they may only read your summary anyway
  • Avoid clichés (eg: “team player”) – it’s just waffle written by you and means nothing
  • Avoid typos & grammatical errors – obvious errors will get your CV rejected in seconds
  • Don’t just list job descriptions – where possible, provide successes (situation – action – results) with figures if you can
  • Good layout makes it easier to read – so use plenty of white space, a simple font, bold headings
  • Don’t throw in random underlines, bold or italics – keep it well formatted
  • If you are sending your CV electronically, use PDF – at least you know it can be opened.
  • Call your CV file something meaningful – eg: “Fred_Blog_CV.pdf” is better than “mycv2007.docx”
  • Use 2 or 3 pages maximum – if it’s bigger, trim it down.
  • Make sure your CV is targeted to the role – check that the skills you list match the job requirements – one size CV definitely does not fit all!
  • Don’t forget your contact information – you wouldn’t believe it, but people do!

Once you think you’ve finished your CV, get someone else to read it and ask for honest feedback. You’ll be surprised how many mistakes you’ve made, and a fresh pair of eyes will spot things that you missed 20 times already.

Good Luck!

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 20/01/2012 10:28:30

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