Written by Kimberley Startup | August 20, 2014
Whether or not you’re working with a recruitment company in Leeds such as Webrecruit, as the owner or hiring manager at a small business or start-up, you’ll need to learn what to look for, and what not to look for, in a CV.
It’s vital to have a system, as it can be very boring and time-consuming to sift through CVs and analyse candidates, meaning that ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ can both be easily missed. The process can be especially stressful if you have a stringent deadline to meet.
So, what are four things that mark out a great CV?
1. A work history that is relevant to your role and business
Let’s start with the first and most obvious question: how relevant is the candidate’s CV to your vacancy and wider business? Have they worked in a similar role previously? If their experience is of a more junior role, do they have the skills and experience to take on your role?
Remember that everyone needs a chance to progress in their career, so you shouldn’t necessarily discount a candidate if they don’t have experience in a role exactly like the one you are advertising. Consider, too, how the candidate’s attributes may benefit your business in the future, not just now.
2. Tailoring for your vacancy
It’s a definite good sign if a candidate appears to have tailored their CV to your specific vacancy and business. This indicates that they are more committed to the role than those that have merely sent their standard CVs.
They might have listed certain key skills matching those in your job description, for example, or expressed a wish to work for a company like yours.
3. A clear sense of progression
A great CV will tell a story of how they progressed from education and their first job to subsequent, increasingly responsible roles. There should be no unexplained gaps in their work history.
Also be wary of CVs where every role in which the applicant has worked is in a different industry. Everyone is entitled to change careers, but a lack of obvious direction in the candidate’s work history doesn’t suggest decisiveness or commitment.
4. The effective presentation of information
Finally, you should consider how effectively the candidate has presented the information on their CV. Is information laid out in a logical order? Also, how long is the CV? CVs longer than two sheets of A4 don’t indicate an ability to follow instructions or be concise when writing reports.
Of course, these aren’t all of the aspects of a CV that you’ll need to consider. Nonetheless, they are a good starting point for the less experienced smaller companies and start-ups working with a recruitment company in Leeds like Webrecruit.