Recruiters have little time to review your CV. Here’s how to ensure it gets selected, not rejected

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Is this your CV?

If you work in financial services recruitment, your day will be spent reading CVs. Sometimes, hundreds of them. Understandably, they don't spend long on each one.

“We receive between 25 to 150 applications per mid-to-senior vacancy advertised. If the resume comes on its own, without a verbal introduction or referral, we tend to give between 30 and 60 seconds to screen it before marking it for either rejection or an exploratory conversation,” says James Austen Nash, associate director, Charterhouse Partnership.

How to ensure your CV gets selected, in seconds

1. Have some well known firms on it 

Firstly, recruiters will look for whether you have worked for well known firms. If you haven't, so be it.

2. Ensure you haven't job hopped 

Secondly, recruiters will look for length of tenure. If you have job hopped too much, so be it.

3. Make it possible for recruiters to open the file containing your CV

Go for a standard Microsoft Word document. Don't go for tables. Don't go for a PDF. Both can be difficult for recruitment systems to open.

4. Show how you are appropriate for the job you're applying for

Sell yourself. Be specific. What have you done before that is directly relevant to this role?

How to ensure your CV gets rejected, in seconds 

1. Make speling mistakes

2. Don't explain the gaps in your work history

3. Don't offer evidence that what you've done so far has any relevance for the role you're applying for

4. Don't waffle

Long introductory pages are a no-no. Recruiters want to get straight down to business.

5. Don't add a photograph 

It will make little difference, even if you're beautiful.  

“You will never be judged on appearance; we care about your work. Including a picture means you are provoking an unnecessary point of discussion/difference that does not always go in your favour,” says Austen Nash.

A version of this article first appeared on our Australian website.