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What Most Recruiters Want to See on Your CV?

Looking for a job? So it is likely you have been asking yourself "what do recruiters want to see on my CV?"

Well, to be fair, it is not rocket science but, surprisingly, most candidates still miss out on crucial or basic points. Reasons range from too much, too little or unnecessary information.

You also have to bear in mind that recruiters flick through hundreds of CVs everyday, so if you take the wrong direction likelihood is you will end up on the rejection pile.


Needless to say it is of paramount importance that you pay attention to the details of your CV.

Let's start with the…

CV file name

Great job if you are tailoring your CV to each job you apply for, but the recruiter does not need to know you are applying for hundreds of vacancies.

Calling your CV 'Sales CV' or 'version 2' does not sound very attractive. If you name your CV that way it will be a strong hint to the recruiter that you do have 100 different versions of it - even if you don't.

You may have different templates on your desktop, but when sending it out, make sure the file reads simply 'Joe Blogs CV' or 'Joe Blogs' for example.


I understand most people like to write a little about themselves and catch the eye of the person reading it. However, the problem starts when you are saying the same thing a 100 other candidates are also saying.

Stating that you are 'reliable', 'hard working', 'a team player' or 'have great communication skills' - and the list goes on - are actually not a confirmation of those skills in the recruiter's eye.

You will need to provide evidence of your affirmations through your experience and achievements and that is what is going to define who you truly are.

Bottom line is, if you want to add a summary on your CV, make it engaging and relevant.

See also
: How Not to Be a Boring Job Applicant – On Your CV

Contact details

This might sound obvious but some candidates still come short of expectations - or arguably exceed - here.

Make sure you add your telephone and email address. This will make the recruiter's life a lot easier and increase the chances of you getting a call or email straight away.

Exclude things like birth date, marital status or how many kids you have. These are unnecessary and are taking up space on your CV.


Should you have a photo?

Some recruiters don't actually like pictures on CVs but, again, it is your call.

If you do decide to go ahead with it, make sure you look professional. Adding a holiday picture or a 'selfie' of your 'sexy-self' isn't going to help you secure that job interview.

Think about it's quality and definition too - a pixelated picture isn't ideal for a neat CV.

What goes first?

Start with the experience.

Even if you are a recent graduate, think of projects you were involved with at school or college, voluntary work and other life experiences that will highlight your skills and experience.

That will help the recruiter see if you have what it takes for the job.


Now - put yourself in the recruiter's shoes. They see hundreds of CVs everyday and it is widely said they only spend 20 seconds max to read one.

So make their life easier and write a concise CV in no more than 2 pages (front and back).

Fair enough you might have a lot of experience and if it is the case, start by writing the relevant information for the role you are applying for. So if you had jobs that don't really relate to what you are doing now or more junior roles, make a short summary for those just so that there isn't a gap on your work history.

Above all, try to make it easy to read.

See also: How to Write Your CV If You Lack Relevant Work Experience


Hobbies…not a real necessity to add them on your CV but I will leave you with two thoughts to ponder upon:

1. Is it taking too much room on your CV?

2. Is it relevant for the job you are applying for or is it going to help you secure an interview with that particular company?

If you answered no to the first and yes to the second, perhaps it is a good idea to have it there. I will leave it for you to decide.

Follow instructions and upload the correct files

When applying for a job, make sure you read all instructions and upload the correct file.

If you fail to do so, the recruiter will notice right away and furthermore will very likely jeopardise your chances of getting short-listed for an interview.

On another hand, it might seem obvious, but submit the correct file. If you fail this part of the process you will not only feel utterly embarrassed but will not go very far.

Failing one of the above will bring the recruiter to assume you lacked care and attention which are in the vast majority of cases a minimum requirement.

To summarise, recruiters want to have a glimpse of who you are and your experience. Write it in your own words.

Ask yourself the question: 'Would I hire myself?'

Good luck with the job hunt!

By Siomara Jubert

photo by: blknauss

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