5 Reasons Your CV Doesn’t Get You Noticed

Why doesn’t your CV get you noticed?

I’m a technical recruiter. I look at CVs all day long. I’ve been working for Conex Europe as a .Net specialist for over 6 years – if I said I look at probably 100 CVs per day, the math is astounding – I’ve viewed somewhere in the region of 132,000 CVs.

So, why isn’t your CV getting you anywhere? Recruiters become conditioned to skimming CVs. When you’re looking at the quantity we do, you have to. But we also like ‘pretty’ CVs. The amount of times I literally just click off a CV as it is ineligible is shocking, people you need to realize that if I’m doing that you can bet your bottom dollar that end clients would be too.

What should be in your CV then?

1) Size:

The biggest CV I have seen was 37 pages long. It even had a contents page. Seriously, do you actually think that your prospective employer is going to kill a tree and print that out to take it home for some light bedtime reading? No. CVs should be between 3 and 5 pages long.

2) Font:

Should be nice and easy on the eyes, Arial, Calibri, size around 10-11. Why oh why people do their entire CV in BOLD and Italic or worse still BOTH! However, that said, I am a big fan of putting certain skills or achievements in bold to draw your eyes to them.

3) Skills:

Do put a skills matrix in your CV, so that both the recruiter and client can see, at a glance, whether your technical skills are what they desire. Don’t list every software you’ve ever seen in person, online, in a magazine, capitalise on those that you excel at.

4) Mini-font:

One of the most annoying things of all time, don’t put buzz words into the footer of your CV in font size 0.5 so that it gets indexed by the bots on the Monster or Jobsite engines. It’s certainly not big, and really isn’t clever as you end up with recruiters scratching their heads as to why they are looking at your CV all the time, and in the end, they’ll just stop clicking on it in searches!

5) Format:

Make your CV look nice, all fonts should be the same size, and should loosely follow this guideline:

  • Name, Location, Phone Number, Email, LinkedIn (or other) profile.
  • Personal Statement, including your desired role
  • Education History, if you’re proud of it, SHOUT about it!
  • Skills Matrix, nice and prominent on the first page
  • Current Employment, including company name, dates of employment, and title
  • Previous Employment, as above
  • Hobbies (this enables the employer to see that you’re a human, not a machine)
  • References enable the client/recruiter to find out if you really are who you say you are!

By following these very simple steps, you will have more of a chance to let a recruiter see your CV in the best light and that phone should start ringing!

By Adam Bolton

Adam Bolton is a Technical Recruiter for ABrecruit Ltd who specialise in recruiting for .Net developers. If you would like to get in touch with Adam feel free to leave a comment below and/or tweet him at @ABRecruitLtd. He also runs IDinLondon.