Employers: 10 Things To Look Out For In Any CV

By Amy Edwards | Small Business

When you’re reviewing CVs for your job vacancy, it can be hard to know where to start, particularly if you’ve got lots of CVs to work through and you want/need to hire someone sooner rather than later.

The main problem with CVs is that they’re all obviously all different – so it can be really hard to compare them side by side. That said; there are certain things you should be on the lookout for in any CV, regardless of the role or the industry, that can suggest the candidate is on the ball and worth considering.

Just to clarify; some of the points below may sound pretty obvious – but new hiring managers and recruiters who have never reviewed a CV before might not be familiar with some of the points or know why they’re important – so I thought I’d include them anyway.

1. Consistent Formatting:

The format of a CV is really important because it speaks volumes about the candidate. From different styles and sizes of font to random bold, italic and underlined sections, dodgy formatting is not a good look – and it suggests the candidate doesn’t care too much about details and looking professional – two traits that aren’t attractive to any employer. Look out for CVs which have consistent formatting (style, font size and typography), are structured into concise, digestible paragraphs – and which look pleasant to the eye.

2. Logical Order:

In addition to the format of the CV, you also need to look closely at the way in which the CV has been ordered. When looking at the order of a CV, consider what has been placed at the beginning and what has been placed at the end. In an ideal world, the most relevant information should be placed at the beginning of the CV.

The contact details should be easy to find (normally at the start of the CV) and the most recent jobs should be placed at the beginning, followed by skills and experience. This is a logical, sensible order for a CV – so if the candidate has used a different order – it might suggest they take alternative approaches when completing key tasks. While this isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, it could be an issue if the candidate is applying for a job which has lots of procedures and protocol to follow.

Employers: 10 Things To Look Out For In Any CV image lightbulbEmployers: 10 Things To Look Out For In Any CV3. No Typos (Attention To Detail):

Just like the formatting issue, spellings and typos are also a big issue and should be carefully considered. Thanks to spell check and Google, there’s really no excuse for typos and poor spellings – and the existence of these in a CV could suggest the candidate has poor attention to detail and rushes their work so they don’t always spot obvious mistakes.

4. Skills & Experience That Match Your Vacancy:

OK, so this is one of the most obvious ones – on a candidate’s CV, you need to look out for any skills and experience that match the particular vacancy you have on offer. It should be easy to spot relevant skills on a good CV – and the best candidates should have highlighted them to make it even easier for you. If the CV you’re reviewing doesn’t have any of the skills and experience you’re looking for, it doesn’t necessarily mean the candidate doesn’t have them – but in that situation, you have to ask why they didn’t include them on that CV when they knew that’s what you were looking for! Which leads me nicely onto my next point…

5. Tailoring To Your Vacancy:

The best candidates will have tailored their CV to your particular vacancy – so this is something you need to be on the lookout for. Keep an eye out for candidates who have tried to relate their skills and experience to the role you’re recruiting for as this is a sign they’re really keen on the role and have spent time trying to make their CV as relevant as possible.

6. Employment Gaps:

Another thing to look for on a CV is employment gaps. In this economy, sometimes gaps in employment can’t be avoided – but if that is the case, the candidate should always try and explain why there was this gap and what they did during this period. This might just consist of a brief sentence on the CV – or a more detailed explanation in their cover letter. The most important thing is the candidate has been honest and hasn’t tried to hide the fact they’ve had gaps in their employment history.

7. Clear Progression:

Next up, when looking at CVs you should be on the lookout for signs that the candidate has made clear progression within their chosen career path. This might be illustrated by the fact that they’ve progressed from an executive level through to a managerial level – or the fact they’ve sidestepped into different areas. Either way, clear signs of progression suggest the candidate is ambitious and isn’t willing to rest on their laurels.

8. Rounded Skillset:

In addition to relevant skills, you should also be on the lookout for signs of a rounded skillset when reviewing CVs. By this I mean that on a CV you need to look out for a mix of technical and more personal, ‘softer’ skills. This mix shows the candidate is well rounded and will be able to cope with all elements of your role.

9. Concise:

If the CV you’re reviewing is five pages long, you might want to reconsider. Why? Because it suggests the candidate isn’t able to keep things concise and to the point and they like to ramble – all elements which probably aren’t attractive to any employer. Look out for paragraphs on CVs which are tight, consise, to the point and – most importantly – relevant!

10. No Cliches:

Last but not least, you need to be on the lookout for cliches when reviewing CVs. Some of the most common CV cliches include phrases like “can work independently or as part of team”, “self-starter” and “results-driven”. The problem? They’re cliches and make the CV morph into the next. While CVs which include lots of cliches aren’t necessarily bad, they can suggest the candidate lacks originality and perhaps isn’t the unique employee you’re looking for.

So there we go; 10 things you should be looking out for when reviewing CVs for your vacancy. Don’t agree with any of my points or think I’ve missed something out? Leave me a comment below.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Employers: 10 Things To Look Out For In Any CV

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