10 Tips for getting your CV read – every time!

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 - How to Write a CV

10 Tips for getting your CV read:

Every Time!

As a recruiter and Professional CV Writer, I am often asked by job seekers, how do I make sure that my Professional CV gets read, ideally every time?

Here are 10 simple tips that you can apply today, to ensure that your CV is read every time:

  1. Read the Job Advert: on average, the typical job advert takes 100hours of work and cost £5,000. So if you just Click to Apply at everything that looks interesting, why should the employer/recruiter read your CV? There are more than enough fully qualified job applicants around for most positions, so read the job advert, and if you haven’t got the required 5/8 competencies (Skills, Qualifications, Experiences), then simply don’t apply
  2. Adjust your CV for that job and the online world: can you find the required 5/8 competencies in the top half of the first page of your CV? Adjust your CV so that you confirm the relevance of your job application. You can have an ugly layout and awful spelling, but you have to show and confirm relevancy
  3. Contact details:place your contact details – phone number and eMail address – at both the top and bottom of the CV. Both photocopier and computers often cut the top or the bottom off of the page. You can be the best candidate in the world, but no contact details will mean no Telephone Interview
  4. Consistent time line: if your experience is relevant to that job, then one of the first negatives that most recruiters and all HR Professionals will look for is an inconsistent and non-continuous time line. Simply: you were born, you have lived until now, what did you do? Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to show equal balance for each job (they may not each be relevant to that job application), but you do need a consistent time line with no gaps. Reverse chronology is the normal approach in Professional CV Writing
  5. Layout: The simple facts of the employment world, are that 50% of jobs are in the top 20% of corporates, and the other 50% are in the rest of the potential employers. The big corporates and most of the job boards use some form of scanning system or Applicant Tracking System. Therefore, if your CV doesn’t scan well, it will get rejected. Not because it is not relevant, or you have not got the right skills, but because it didn’t scan well! So choose a clear layout, choose fonts that scan well (Times New Roman and Arial are ideal), and then keep the text ideally above 11point
  6. Spelling and Grammar: in these days of computers and associated tools, there are few excuses for poor spelling. Many programmes also offer grammar hints. Now, you may be thinking, “this is the point that I thought would come first, why is it down here at No6?” Simply, relevancy of application is the first, second and possibly third question/required confirmation in every recruiters and HR managers mind. If you have relevancy then you will pass the first hurdle. But then many fail on the second of readability and presentation. The first four points focus on relevancy, the next two on readability
  7. Application in Employment: OK, we are over the two major steps – relevancy, readability – now it’s the soft issues. So having confirmed that your job application is relevant, the next thing that a recruiter/HR professional will look at is application of those skills in a similar position, gaining the required business results. This is where the STAR format of writing your CV will help, particularly focusing in the right areas.
  8. Culture and Scale: this is the second of the soft issues, in terms of comparing your last few employers to the new organisation: are they similar in scale and culture? Now, if they are not this will not exclude you BUT it will add a question to the Telephone Interview.
  9. Cover Letter, or not?:there are lots of theories these days that you don’t need to add a Cover Letter. Yet most job portals and applicant tracking systems require some form of free-form text to say why your job application is relevant, and why you are right for that job. Or the job application system asks you to eMail in your CV, so are you just sending an effectively “blank” eMail? The modern Cover Letter may not look like a classical Cover Letter, but you still need one! The simplest Cover Letter form is a two column chart: You need; I offer. It simply ticks the boxes and confirms relevancy
  10. On Time:was your job application placed in plenty of time, or was it received after the defined time scale and look rushed? The first person to review your job application will be a resourcer, who is an HR focused administrator. Simply, the later your job application hits their desk after the defined time scale, the better an ideal candidate you need to be to be considered relevant.

OK, I hope that these tips have helped you!

If you find that you are not getting many Telephone Interviews (less than 1 in 5 job applications), then the problem probably comes down to your CV. Make sure that you make use of our Free CV Review service, to get the job that you want.

Good Luck!


If you have any questions, call us on 0844 884 2825

If you need an interview winning solution, sign-up for our Professional CV service

If you want to check the suitability of your existing CV, then get a FREE CV review


photo by: sam_churchill
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2 Responses to “10 Tips for getting your CV read – every time!”

  1. Erin Rensing Says:

    Thanks, very well written post. I found it through a random Google search and shared it on my Digg account

  2. Joel Smith Says:

    Some decent solid advice there, nice one :)

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