The 7 second scan: Will your CV make the cut?

  27th March 2017       Charmaine Padfield
 Employment, Company News, Executive Search, Human Resources, IT & Software Solutions, Office & Commercial, Recruitment

Your CV is the first impression someone will have of you. The average time taken by an employer to look at a CV is 5 – 7 seconds! Take the time to get it right.

Give yourself a fighting chance at securing an interview by ensuring you’ve covered these key requirements that a recruiter will need to see in these first 7 seconds:

CV Layout
Start with contact details and a profile, followed by employment history (most recent first), then education, qualifications and other skills and finish with interests and state that references are available on request. This should fit on no more than two sides of A4.

– 73% of UK applicants use Times New Roman or Arial fonts – be more creative, but ensure it’s clear to read

–  24% of applicants state that they have ‘excellent written communication skills’, 47% also claim to ‘work independently’ and 32% say they’re a ‘team player’ – avoid clichés.

CV Content

–  Always put your name, address, phone number and email address on the CV (you would be surprised how many people miss vital information)

–  Your personal profile should be two lines outlining your strengths, enticing the employer to read on after getting a preview of your skills

–  If you have worked for a number of years, list your last 10 years’ experience and summarise previous roles more briefly

–  Use bullet points to summarise the responsibilities of each job

–  Do not make it too complicated and don’t detract from the information – keep it professional and clear

–  Always spell check your CV and ask someone to proof read it to ensure it all makes sense – bad grammar and spelling are often enough to rule you out

–  Never lie or exaggerate on your CV, it’s likely to be found out during the process and reflects incredibly badly on you

Covering letter

You must always address the covering letter to the advertiser personally. Make the letter specific to that vacancy, outlining why you would be good for the role rather a general letter.

We are here to help – get in touch with us. Email us if you would like us to talk through your CV and offer any advice.

CV info sheet


Charmaine Padfield

Managing Consultant

Charmaine’s extensive recruitment career started in 2001. Heading up our IT Recruitment Division, Charmaine has an uncanny knack of sourcing uniquely skilled talent for our clients and this is coupled with a tenacity and a great work ethic resulting in many recruitment success stories. Her ability to stay calm when …

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