How your CV can make an impact in under 10 seconds‏

The jobs market has changed considerably over recent years. With increased competition for many job vacancies it’s essential that your CV shows you at your best and, more importantly, makes an immediate impact.

It may sound cruel but most employers will only cast an eye over your CV for a matter of seconds before passing judgement; with hundreds to go through this is the only amount of time they can afford. On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes so it is increasingly important that your CV makes the decision easier for your prospective employer.

Here are our top tips to keep their attention, for all the right reasons:

Be concise

A guaranteed way to irritate any reader of your CV is to have muddled and messy content. Nothing is more disheartening to a potential employer than having to scroll through an unorganised and confused CV with little to no structure.

To reduce the risk of frustrating the reader, keep your CV to one printed side of A4 if possible (two pages at the most). Consider adding information such as your personal development and any key soft-skills you have picked up along the way.

Avoid potential distractions

Your CV is a professional document - never forget that. It is safe to assume that most employers are not looking for eccentric fonts and varying colour schemes.

Have confidence in your experience by simply bolding your key skills and notable experiences. This is all that is needed to navigate the reader’s eye through your CV and to show off your skillset.

Keep your layout traditional

Everyone has different ideas for what constitutes a great CV, that’s why you can find lots of different designs around the web that have been popularised over the years.

However tempting it may be to stray away from conventional designs, your safest bet is to keep your CV as ‘traditional’ as possible.

All prospective employers want a clear and easy path through your CV, if they have to work hard to extract information it will simply be ignored. Ensure that your CV is pleasing on the eye and double check that your contact details are clearly visible and not hidden behind any questionable formatting.

Avoid CV templates

There is an abundance of CV templates available online that feature ready-made text, and can easily be downloaded; our advice is to avoid all of them completely. The chances are that if you have found one that you like then so have many other jobseekers.

If a soon-to-be employer picks up on the fact that you are using a generic template this could massively reduce the impact your CV has.

Have a killer introduction

Your introduction, or personal profile, is the first thing that the reader sees when casting an eye over your CV. To guarantee that your CV makes an impact in under 10 seconds this has to be both concise and engaging.

Your introduction should encapsulate who you are and clearly outline your key achievements and skills. Give a hint of what you can offer and remember that your introduction should entice the employer to read the rest of your CV and hopefully contact you for interviewing. Good luck!