Ever wondered how long a recruiter spends reading you CV, or whether you should lie to make your application look better? We’ve all been there!
Job hunting can feel like a minefield - and although you understand that a strong CV is vital for success, kickstarting the process can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused.
Thankfully, these surprising CV statistics will teach you some valuable CV lessons and give you some savvy application know-how:
It can be shocking to learn just how little time recruiters give to each CV they review. This means you have just a matter of seconds to grab their attention – at least if you want them to keep reading!
But don’t feel disheartened - if you get your format and content just right, you can increase your chances of being asked in for an interview. Recruiters will look at the top section of your CV first, so it’s vital to prove your suitability for the role from the get-go.
To do this, make sure that you start with a catchy personal statement and include keywords and skills from the job description throughout. Underneath this, create a tailored ‘core skills’ section which details your most relevant and in-demand skills.
This impactful combination will ensure that recruiters see your potential, even if they only quickly glance over your CV.
The length of your CV is so important. Remember, recruiters are time-poor people and they only spend a few seconds on each application. If your CV is too long, it’s likely to end up being discarded.
For this reason, your CV should never be more than two pages - but if you can keep everything to just one page, you’ll increase your chances of success even further.
Think it’s an impossible task? Once you focus on only including the most relevant information, it’s much easier than you think. The key is to ensure that everything you add to your CV boosts your application in some way.
Don't add irrelevant part-time jobs from years ago - and if you don’t have space, then leave out the hobbies section. If you really struggle for room, you could always leave a link to an online CV or portfolio, where you can expand on your experience and skills – this would definitely win you brownie points!
Lying on your CV is never a good idea. It’s more than possible that you will be found out or asked to take on a role that you aren’t ready for - neither of which will look very professional.
Remember that graduate recruiters are ultimately looking for potential – you’re not expected to have years of on-the-job experience just yet.
Nowadays, it’s common for employers to run an internet search for potential candidates. This could reveal social media profiles, blogs or news stories that feature your name. So, before you begin your job search, it’s a good idea to do a digital clean up.
Search for yourself online as if you were an employer and get rid of any content you think they might deem inappropriate or unprofessional.
It can also be a good idea to set your social media profiles to private, so no one can see any photos or content you’ve been sharing without your consent.
We know that some of these statistics can feel daunting - but using them to your advantage and putting careful thought and planning into your CV will stand you in good stead when job hunting.
Just remember, you don't have long to grab a recruiter’s attention, so choose the right format and only include information that helps you to sell yourself.
And most of all, never lie on your CV - or you could end up in big trouble!
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.
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