Your CV is the first impression that a prospective employer will have of you. In about 90% of cases the CV is the reason why candidates do not get invited in for an interview, even those candidates who would excel at the job if given a chance.
It’s easy to understand how this happens, when you think about it.
Depending on how many different avenues employers use to recruit, most vacancies have over 50 CVs submitted. Of course, it’s not feasible for companies to run 50 interviews for each position, so they make a shortlist and will usually interview a maximum of five candidates. So far, so straightforward, but you may not have thought about the implications of this on the next step.
When they are reducing a shortlist of CVs from 50 to 5 or less, most employers don’t look for the CVs that are the most impressive and the best fit for the job. It is easiest for them if they look for CVs that are wrong somehow, as this way they can rapidly reduce the pile. It follows that about 90% of candidates are rejected simply because their CV doesn’t work in their favour.
The main focus you should keep when writing your CV is to give the prospective employer no reason to discard it and every reason to want to find out more about you – to interview you. We’ve reviewed thousands of CVs and worked with many hiring managers and have learned the keys to successful CV writing.
These fall into two categories:
Content. In the rest of the Developer Careers Guide, we’ll explain what information you should put into a CV.
Visual impact / look. Perfect presentation ensures the vital first impression is positive.
The look to aim for can be summed up in one word – professional!
The CV has to be easy to read, look clean and allow the reader to focus on the content, without being distracted by style and formatting.
Many people include graphics, logos, pictures, stylish fonts and different colours on their CV to make it stand out. It can’t be denied that this does make the CV stand out, but almost always for all the wrong reasons. Preferences for style are very personal, and going all out to impress in this way is just as likely to alienate recruiters as to attract them. When a recruiter has to look at 50 CVs, the simple clean approach works best.
Here are some basic guidelines:
Use of capitals
Follow this advice and most recruiters and hiring managers will at least read your CV in full, giving you the chance of an interview and a job offer.