You may believe that to put forward a strong application you need to provide a long and detailed CV. Wrong! Employers decide on whether to read your full CV within the first 30 seconds and research suggests the average time is around 6 seconds. That’s why it’s key that you ensure those 30 seconds hold the recruiter’s attention and hopefully secure you an interview. It is vital to ensure that the employer can find everything they need with ease.
Follow these 3 easy steps to help you pass the 30 second test…..
Tailor it to the role
Compare your CV to the job you’re applying for. Tweak it and move relevant points to the top. Downplay irrelevant areas and expand on the bits you know they want to see. It is a good idea to include a professional profile at the start, explaining how you are the perfect fit for the role in just a couple of sentences. Pick out key pieces of information that tick the boxes included in the job description. Spend time on this, If you don’t immediately capture the recruiter’s attention this may be the only section he or she reads.
Stick to two pages
Certainly, with just seconds to work with there is clearly no point in writing pages and pages of detail. Giving yourself a 2-page format helps to focus the mind. It gives you a concise framework from which to work with and decide what information to include and what to leave out. As you go along, ask yourself whether the information you are including will help you secure an interview. If not, cut it out.
Keep it clear
Split your CV into clear sections. Make sure each section headings stand out so that the CV is easy to navigate, Consider putting each title in bold and even in a larger font so they can quickly be found. Recruiters like to scan the CV and read the sections which are important to them so make the information accessible. Make use of bullet points and write in short sharp sentences. Don’t waffle, there is nothing a time stretched recruiter hates to see more than a big block of black ink.
Once you’ve done and completed the above steps, give a copy of your CV to a trusted friend or family member and ask their opinion. Do they think it is easy to read and navigate? Also it’s a good idea to have a second pair of eyes to check for any spelling or grammatical errors. Mistakes are unforgivable and an instant NO!