Knowledge Centre

Revealed: What Recruiters Really Want to see in Your CV

Written By - Channon Sharples - June 13,2014

Revealed: What recruiters really want to see in your CV

Reed recently asked over 300 employers from across the UK for insight on what they are really looking for when it comes down to reading your CV, and what turns them off.

Do you want to know what it is that will set your CV on to the top of employer’s lists? Or would you like to know their secret dislikes and ensure that you do not make these mistakes? Keep reading to see what Reed found out...

Most important things on a CV:

1.A Logical order of presentation- Having a logical order to your CV will allow employees to read through it more easily and proficiently. It also shows that you have spent time and thought on your layout and the contents in-between.

2.Formatting- You can use different formats in your CV to shine light on what you think is important. You can draw attention to your strengths, make a clear statement as to what your career aims are, and use it to help you target a specific job. You should always use the format that best suits your aims and shows you in the best light.

3.Length/pages: The length of your CV is exceedingly important. An employee can get his first impression just by the first glance of the page. For example, if it is too long the employee may immediately put it down seemly due to this fact; if it is too short, the employee may think that you are either inexperienced or too lazy to write a proper CV. Your CV should be around 2-3 pages long, and should only have the relevant information necessary to the specific job you are applying for. It should enhance your strengths, not bury them beneath a pile of information that has no meaning.

Remember, your CV should be a word document.

Biggest turn-offs for recruiters:

1.Poor grammar and spelling- you must ensure that you always have correct grammar and spelling. Even the smallest mistake can turn-off the recruiter. Having a grammatically correct CV will show that you care about its contents and the impressions it will give out. Remember, it is very easy to make an error- so don’t think you’re allowed to miss this one out because you’re a whiz-kid.

2.Candidate lacking required qualifications- make sure that you have the required skills for what you are applying for. Check the specification for the job role and mark off what you fill. If you do not have what the recruiter is looking for, yet send off for the job anyway, you will be black marked with a bad name, so don’t apply for a job just for the sake that it’s there to apply for.

3.Poor formatting- you must ensure that your formatting is done correctly. It really is important. Recruiters like to see things in order, and read CVs that are simple to go through.

4.No cover letter attached to the CV: 4/10 employers said that they would not entertain a CV without a covering letter. You should definitely spend a few minutes to write one up and give a quick brief of why you are applying for the job and what your main strengths are. This is your time to sell yourself before they get to the critical stuff.

Top Tips

Re-read you CV. Re-read it again. And, most importantly, ask a friend or a family member to proofread it. You may be skipping over an error or a mistake without even knowing about it.

Quantify every statement you can with an example. If an employers’ looking for a good team player, saying ‘demonstrated excellent team player skills whilst working on X project’ will be more far efficient than just saying you’re a good team player.