12 tips to get your CV noticed

Time for a new role? 12 tips to get your cv noticed

According to the career website, Ladders, recruiters or hiring managers spend only 7.4 seconds reviewing a CV. Meaning, as a job seeker, you have the minimal amount of time to make an impression.

How to fall at the first hurdle when a hiring manager looks at your cv (from the same website)

  1.  One spelling or grammar mistake and your CV will be chucked in the bin.
  2.  Repeated punctuation errors and your CV will be chucked in the bin.
  3.  One in three employers reject candidates based on something they found about them online.
  4.  88% job rejection rate if you have a photo of yourself on your CV.
  5.  76% of CVs are ignored if your email address is unprofessional.
  6.  Those CVs with colored or patterned backgrounds are twice as likely as plain ones to be rejected (it might be a struggle to load to them to application processing/tracking systems)

Many job seekers want to share everything about themselves, therefore, their cv becomes cluttered and overwhelming for the recruiter leading to a high rejection rate.

So, what’s the chances of any of these things happening? Take spelling and grammar errors.

An analysis of 20,000 U.K. CVs in 2019 by jobs site Adzuna found more than 90% of them had spelling or grammar mistakes. The same survey found that men tended to make more mistakes than women – with 8% of female job hunters sending in a flawless CV compared to just 6% of men.

  • It was common to see typos turning the word ‘and’ into ‘add,’ which a spell-check did not pick up on.
  • ‘Manager’ becoming ‘manger’ was another typical typo that wasn’t spotted.
  • And there’s probably no excuse for getting the name of the hiring manager wrong – or the name of the company you’re applying to or one you’ve worked for in the past.

And there are common errors in the choice of words:

  • Effect or affect?
  • Insure or ensure or assure?
  • Elicit or illicit?
  • Perspective or prospective?
  • Complementary or complimentary?

This is basic stuff – we know – but we want our candidates to have the best possible chance of getting the role, far too often, they are rejected because of a lack of attention to the ‘basics.’

So, here are some things to consider if you want your cv to be noticed.

  1. Always keep your CV up-to-date – but be prepared to tweak it to fit the job opportunity
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Identify keywords in the job advert and role description and use them in your cv where you have the relevant experience
  7. 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
  8. Double-check spelling and grammar – hiring managers may rule applicants out on these grounds alone
  9. Try and describe the achievements you accomplished in each of your roles – but no exaggeration.+
  10. A simply designed CVin 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
  11. Include a (maximum) one page cover letter – describe how the experience you bring, how it fits with the role and you key qualities. Think of it as an ‘elevator pitch.’ Keep the letter concise and personalize it to the company or individual it is addressed to
  12. Where appropriate include samples of your work; for example, when applying for design or marketing roles


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