According to the career website, Ladders, recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds reviewing a cv.
Meaning, you, as a job seeker, have less than 8 seconds to make an impression on them.
Many job seekers want to share everything about themselves in their cv, therefore, their cv becomes cluttered and overwhelming for the recruiter. Moreover, the cv lacks a clear purpose making the recruiter confused about how a candidate’s skills will translate to the role in which they’re applying. (Ladders).
Always keep your cv up-to-date – but be prepared to tweak it to fit the job opportunity.
Keep your cv to two pages maximum – give more detail about recent roles. It’s unlikely that the hiring manager will focus on those roles you did years ago
Given the amount of time you have to make an impression, the information on the first page of your cv is vital. Make sure the first page contains a short summary outlining why you have the skills and experience to for the role as described in the advert – this catches the eye of the recruiter.
Keep your cv simple and make sure it’s easily understood. To get noticed at a glance - be sure to bullet point your most marketable skills and relevant management experiences. Don't go into so much detail that a reader can't form a quick mental picture of you as a candidate.
Tailor your cv to the role before you send it off. If you have the role description, draw out the experiences on your cv that match the role requirements.
Identify keywords in the job advert and role description and use them in your cv where you have the relevant experience.
No gaps in your cv – give an explanation for any gaps in your employment over 3-months, otherwise, questions may be raised and you could be ruled out of the process.
Double-check spelling and grammar – it’s surprising how many simple errors there are on cvs – hiring managers may rule applicants out on these grounds alone.
Try and describe the achievements you accomplished in each of your roles – but no exaggeration.
A simply designed cv in Word is generally the best format – Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used to store cvs. Some ATS find it difficult to load cvs in pdf format or with complicated designs or photographs. If this is the case, you could be ruling yourself out at the opening hurdle.
Include a (maximum) one page cover letter – describe how the experience you bring, how it fits with the role and your key qualities. Think of it as an ‘elevator pitch.’ Keep the letter concise and personalise it to the company or individual it is addressed to.
Where appropriate include samples of your work; for example when applying for design or marketing roles.