Just how long hiring managers spend actually looking at your CV.

I've seen about a million, over exaggerated, made up statistics., around 90% of them being incorrect, about just how long hiring managers spend actually looking at your CV. 

Whether it's 10 minutes or 10 seconds...the fact of the matter is, your CV is a representation of you. Some people say you can tell if you are going to like someone in the first 10 seconds of meeting them, so why should it be any different when looking at a CV?

As a recruitment consultant, I see hundreds off CVs in a week(no exaggeration!). Many of which have inexcusable mistakes, from simple typo's to fairly obvious spelling mistakes & some people still struggling with the differences between there, their & they're.

I've also seen thousands of articles(only a slight exaggeration) on how to produce the 'perfect CV', so please don't mistake this for another....this is just a helpful reminder, in the form of a rant, on making sure we are getting the basics write (an obvious mistake there just to keep you switched on).

If you were going to an interview, would you turn up with your shoes on the wrong feet, forgetting to brush your hair and put on some socks...no - because these are the basics. So why do so many people forget the basics when it comes to producing a CV?

The first key point is to make sure your CV is a true representation of you. Who are you & what have you done? Include any highlights of your career, factual information about things you have achieved, but make sure they are relevant for the role you are applying for.

The second key point is buzzwords! If it is true that hiring managers only look at your CV for 10 seconds or less, it's important to make sure you have the right buzzwords on your CV. For example, if you work in a design role that requires a certain software package, this should be stated clearly on your CV. If it is essential in your line of work to have passed a particular safety course, again, this should be clearly highlighted on your CV. If it is essential to have a particular qualification to fulfill the role you are applying to....I hope by now you get the point!

The third is basic presentation. Make sure it's laid out in a nice, easy to read format. There are no rules to say it has to be under two pages, but equally, a CV with more pages than a Harry Potter book is unlikely to be read with as much interest. If you feel you cant summarise what you do and what you've done in less than 10,000 words than it's too complex and you need to simplify it. In the words of Albert Einstein "if you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough" - I stole that from one of the billions of memes I see on LinkedIn everyday(ever so slight exaggeration).

The fourth and final point is to proof read, proof read & proof read again. Once you've done that, get somebody else to proof read it! Does it read right and are there any glaring mistakes? If you've got the basics right, then your CV should get the consideration it deserves. Hopefully, it will lead to an interview and then it's your time to shine! If you struggle with interviews, i'm pretty sure ill write a post on it at some stage....if not, there are about a trillion others online - happy reading!

Mike Darby


Tel: +44 (0)2382 025 240