What does a recruiter do when they receive your CV?
Reference: Business Insider; The Undercover Recruiter
14 Mar 2018
Five to seven seconds: the amount of time a recruiter will probably spend deciding whether to take your CV forward, according to research by The Undercover Recruiter.
If a quick skim-read seems like short-change for your life’s work it’s worth remembering that a hiring manager will have an average of 250 applications to scroll through for each position.
Having some idea of a recruiter’s thought processes can be extremely useful: here is a stage-by-stage guide to the way they’ll approach your CV and how you can tailor your application accordingly.
1. Scan for immediate turn-offs
Before reading, most recruiters will scan your CV for instant rejection triggers:
• The dreaded personal photo carries with it a staggering 88% rejection rate!
• A very poorly structured or badly formatted CV can make it difficult to assimilate the content quickly – irritating for time-pressed recruiters – and you really don’t want to irritate them.
• And should they happen to spot a spelling or grammar mistake during the course of their cursory scan, your CV is unlikely to get a second chance. If you can’t be bothered to do a spell-check why should they bother to read it?
2. Check personal details
Assuming your CV survives this initial cull, the first focus point is your name and contact details. Anything untoward here (including an unprofessional email address) is likely to have them reaching for the wastepaper bin, delete key or swiping to the left.
The executive summary or personal statement is typically his or her next stop, so it’s worth investing some time perfecting this short, but often overlooked section.
3. Peruse background and experience
The employment section of the CV will typically receive the bulk of a recruiter’s attention (all five seconds of it). Most of their time will be spent looking over your current position and immediately previous position for key details such as start and end dates, job titles and company names.
The recruiter’s attention span will progressively decline as the experience gets more distant. Long-winded, poorly structured paragraphs are usually overlooked in this initial vetting process. Food for thought next time you decide to start penning your memoirs.
4. Glance at education and qualifications
Education receives a sizeable chunk of your hiring manager’s time. Again, names and dates matter most, so make sure all the information is correctly presented. Interestingly, the name of the educational institution is usually the first point of focus, rather than the qualification itself.
If you weren’t already aware by now, your CV or resume is one of the most potent weapons in your application armoury, so don’t waste it. If your CV keeps getting bounced back to you, it might be time for a change in approach.