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What does a recruiter really expect to see on your CV?

Written by Kimberley Startup | November 26, 2013 | 1 Comment
New EmployeesWhen you are applying for a job, whether it is the most humble shop or bar work or a position at the top of your chosen field, you will doubtless be aware of the considerable competition, and therefore the importance of communicating the suitability of your skills and experience to the specific role. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a vital weapon in securing the role of your dreams, but with those recruiting staff often having only seconds to scan a CV, you will need to make an instant impression with it – as Webrecruit ( explains.
From the employer’s perspective, the huge volume of applications that they receive often makes it necessary for them to have a simple and definite plan for identifying suitable candidates. Chances are that they will have a clear list of essential requirements and will briefly scan your CV to determine whether there is a match. If there is, then you can expect the employer to more closely scrutinise your CV for relevant experience, minimum educational requirements and – of course – a desire to do the job that is being advertised.
However, the staff recruitment process can also be so rushed that a decision on whether to invite you to interview is based on only a cursory glance at your CV. You will therefore need to ensure that your CV succinctly and clearly communicates your roles and responsibilities, experience, skills and results and achievements. Your CV should be tailored to every job for which you apply. What you mention on your CV should therefore be consistent and relevant to the role, and it should be clear where, how and to what extent you added value to high profile projects.
Whether they’re overseeing an office, marketing, retail or finance recruitment campaign, hiring managers want to see results. So if you exceeded your target as a sales manager, you should state that target in amount or percentage form, also demonstrating how you overachieved. Relevant educational certificates should also be highlighted – particularly those that the selection criteria lists as essential or desirable.
But your CV shouldn’t just excel at the details – it should also quickly capture a hiring manager’s interest by looking, feeling and reading well. That means that your CV should be laid out clearly and consistently, with only one font type being used. Bullet points and bold type for headings also help to create clarity. Nor should there be any unexplained time lapses in your CV, or inconsistencies in terms of responsibilities held or achievements. Language should be relevant to your industry while not containing overwhelming jargon, and the formatting of your CV should enable it to be easily opened. The need to download software to access a CV is an immediate turnoff.
Webrecruit’s ( recruitment experts would always urge you to have a focussed CV, showing commitment and capability for your given field. As soon as it is opened, it should give the recruiter good reasons to employ you.

One thought on “What does a recruiter really expect to see on your CV?

  1. Peter Nicolson on Reply

    Thanks for this article. It is going to help me a lot. I will look forward that my CV speaks everything from my end & will surely try to make it interesting. Even i will keep your points in my mind 🙂

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