As an employer, you might find yourself struggling to determine the applicants with good CVs in comparison to the others. When reviewing CVs for your job vacancy, it is important to be able to work through the pile, especially when you are looking to hire someone sooner rather than later. The biggest problem with CVs is the fact that each one is individual to each candidate, often making it near impossible to compare them when they’re side by side. However, there are certain elements that you should be on the look out for in any CV.
No Typos – Attention to Detail
The smallest errors, such as spellings and typos are a big issue and should, in theory, be carefully considered when looking at CVs. As attention to detail is one of the most important things to look out for in a CV and someone’s work, a spelling mistake can be a clear indicator that if the candidate is sloppy throughout their CV, the likelihood is they will be sloppy when carrying out their work duties. In today’s day and age, most CVs are built and written either online or in a word document so that said, with thanks to spell check, there is no room for excuses when it comes to spelling errors and typos.
Similarly to paying attention to detail, consistent formatting throughout a CV is another important issue to consider. Ranging from different fonts to different styles and sizes, a confusing and somewhat dodgy formatting can result in an unprofessional looking CV and could also suggest that the candidate isn’t interested enough in the details they have provided. A consistently formatted CV, which is structured appropriately presents the ideal candidate to consider.
As a side note to a consistent format, a well written and thought out CV should present a logical order from beginning to end, with the most relevant information placed at the beginning. Contact details of the candidate should be visible at the start of the CV, shortly followed by most recent jobs, with skills and experience directly after. This presents a logical and sensible order in which a CV should be written. In the event that a CV does not follow this pattern, it could indicate that the individual takes an alternative approach when completing any given task. This being said, taking an alternative approach is not always an issue but can be when a specific procedure is to be followed making this something to consider.
CVs tend to be anything from half a page to 5 pages long with candidates having more and more information to offer, however, a lengthy CV can be problematic. When a candidate has such a long CV, this normally indicates that they are unable to keep things concise and have a tendency to ramble and often go off subject.
An individual may have gaps in their employment history for many reasons and in today’s competitive economy, sometimes this cannot be avoided. In the likelihood that a candidate’s CV presents gaps in their employment, it is important that they take the necessary steps to explain this gap and what they did throughout this period. This explanation makes for an honest candidate, showing they are not attempting to hide any gaps in their employment history.
Skills & Experience that Match your Vacancy
Whilst you might think that looking for skills and experience to match your vacancy is obvious, it can sometimes be by passed when reviewing the potential candidates. An excellent candidate will have highlighted the relevant skills for you, however, some candidates fail to make note of the skills they posses and therefore fail to match the requirements of the role. This does not mean that the candidate doesn’t have the skills you’re after, they may have simply not tailored their CV to your vacancy. This can often be the case and the point at which you have to ask yourself, why didn’t they do this?
Tailoring to your Vacancy
The better candidates will have tailored their CV to your vacancy and this is something to keep a look out for. Candidates who have attempted to match their skills and experience to your individual vacancy, clearly show their level of interest into the role and in the process will have spent time doing so.
Although a good CV needs to provide specific skills and experience, relevant to the vacancy, you should also watch for signs of a rounded skillset when reviewing CVs. An ideal candidate in any vacancy possesses a mix of technical and personal skills showing the candidate is capable of coping with all elements of the role.
A good CV should show the candidate’s progression throughout their chosen career path. This can be both horizontal and vertical progression throughout the company hierarchical structure. A clear sign of progressions shows the candidate is ambitious and isn’t willing to settle where they are.
If you would like more information on what to look for in a CV, take a look at some of our sample CVs for specific job roles below:
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