Did you know that a recent study showed that recruiters spend less than seven seconds, on average, reviewing the resume or CV of job applicants? This may be a very frustrating fact, especially given the blood, sweat and tears that can go into creating the perfect CV, but it is the reality of applying for a new job in many industries, and it’s wise to give it some thought.
When your CV stands out, you’re much more likely to make an impact on the recruiter you need to impress. However, it’s essential to make sure it stands out for all the right reasons, since a few simple errors could see it on a fast track to the recycling bin. Follow our tips to ensure that you don’t fail at the first hurdle, and make sure your CV stands the seven second scrutiny.
1. Standardize. You are aiming to stand out as the most appropriate candidate for the job, but this will not be achieved by using a strange font or wacky layout. Your goal should be a sleek and professional document that is around one A4 page long, and contains your contact information clearly.
2. Be concise. Seven seconds does not allow for detailed reading or comprehension, so you must aim to be as concise as possible in your application. If you are stating an objective, ensure it is relevant – if it is merely a generic statement, it would be better to remove it from your page. Any unnecessary waffle or wordy-clutter will detract from the original and interesting points in your application, so avoid this at all costs.
3. Check for errors. If you are applying for several positions, you will almost certainly be using the same pro forma for each application. Don’t be tempted to scrimp on proof reading, but ensure that every time you submit a CV, you have tailored it to the specific position in question. A CV that mentions or references an ideal company that you would like to work for will only be appropriate if it is the company you are applying to in this instance!
4. Be honest. Inventing experience or qualifications on your CV will secure you a reputation as a dishonest timewaster, and is simply not worth the effort. Record your experience and qualifications as clearly as possible and highlight the most relevant pieces of information in your presentation and layout. Give full details of the levels you have achieved in your academic qualifications, or it may be assumed that you did not complete them.
5. Focus on relevance. If you are applying for a first or second job, you don’t need to list every part-time role you have undertaken as these will probably not be relevant to your application. Hobbies and activities will only add value to your application if they are related to the skills or experience you require for the position, so concentrate on the sections of your CV that provide clear and concise information about why you are the best person for this role.
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist Technical and Executive Recruitment firm, with expertise in the Medical Device, Sciences/Pharma and ICT industries. We work with candidates and businesses across the Engineering, Supply Chain and Finance sectors, and our friendly team can help you to secure the new position you want.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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