Talent Acquisition

The Questions Your Candidates Should Ask Before Sending You Their CV

As a recruiter, you place a huge amount of faith in your candidates every time you submit their CV to a client. In fact every time you recommend a candidate, you are trusting them with your reputation, your credibility and even your livelihood. So, if you don’t want to spend hours editing CVs, ensure that your candidates are asking the following questions.

Does it look professional?

It goes without saying that you want your candidates to appear professional in the eyes of your clients, so their CVs must reflect this. A logical structure with clearly defined sections and bold headings are essential, as is a succinct writing style and wide vocabulary. And of course typos and grammar mistakes should definitely be eradicated before a CV is put in front of a client.

Does it create impact upon opening?

If you want to impress your clients, then your candidates’ CVs must create a big impact upon opening. Ensure that they include a punchy profile that sells their in-demand talents, and that it is heavily tailored to the role you are submitting them for. If you can’t instantly see that they are a good fit for the role, then the CV may need some tweaking.

Is it easy to read?

Busy hiring managers don’t have the time to wade through big chunks of text and hunt down the details they need. Your candidates’ need to break the information on their CVs up into small bitesize chunks and make good use of bullet points. They must also ensure that the key requirements for your client’s roles are made prominent throughout.

Is it under 2 pages long?

You don’t really want to read a CV that’s more than 2 pages long and neither do your clients, so make sure that your candidates keep their CVs short, sharp and to-the-point. If their CVs are coming in too long, ask them to cut down older roles and remove any irrelevant details they may be including.

Does it reflect the requirements of your client roles?

If your candidate’s CV doesn’t meet the expectations of your clients, then they won’t get an interview. You must always ask your candidates to tailor their CV specifically to your role before you forward them. If there seems to be a big difference between the experience they told you about on the phone, and what is present in the CV they send you, then don’t be afraid to ask for an re-write.

Are the roles well structured?

As you know, candidate’s CV role descriptions will be heavily scrutinised, especially the recent roles. Poorly structured roles will irritate hiring managers and will often fail to display a candidate’s true impact. Roles should start with a high level summary, then list bullet pointed responsibilities and end with some key achievements.

Does it prove the candidate’s value?

Employers want to see a return on investment when they hire a candidate, so CVs must show the value that a candidate can deliver. Your candidates’ CV should include plenty of examples of the impact they have made on previous employer with their work. For example if they have improved a process, delivered a large project or saved costs in any of their roles, they need to highlight those points.

Does it include numbers?

Numbers are extremely important in a CV. Without them it’s very hard for a reader to understand the level a candidate works and benchmark them against the competition. Figures such as team size, budgets managed or length of projects are great ways to quantify a candidate’s impact.

By Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter, and founder of CV writing service  StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider and Huffington Post.