June 30, 2017

What Recruiters Really Want to See on Your CV



1) What are the first things recruiters look for in an applicant when recruiting?

The essential skills and experience required for the job in terms of Minimum educational requirements, relevant experience, a desire to do the job and the ability to work in that location.

2) What are major CV mistakes

  1. CV is made for another job sector rather than the one applicant is applying for.
  2. This tells recruiter immediately that the role applicant is applying for is his/her plan b, or c and in this job market that is an immediate turn off.
  3. Presentation of CVs is very important. If a CV looks bad the implication is that the candidate is bad and they are either too commercially unaware to know how important a CV is or too apathetic about their job search. 
  4. Some examples of ‘bad presentation’ include shabby formatting which makes it hard to read and follow, bizarre pictures, floral borders, a Graduate CV that covers six pages or just no content at all. Consistent formatting with bold headlines, clear dates and headlines such as achievements, awards, education and duties really helps to find the information recruiter is looking for quickly and efficiently.


3) What are the industry secrets to really getting noticed and known?
  1. Call first! Every graduate recruiter gets hundreds of applications for each role they are in charge of. So before you apply, try and call the person who is advertising and introduce yourself.
  2. If you make yourself known to them they are more likely to take you forward. Even if you can’t get through they will still get a couple of messages from you and hear your name so they are more likely to flag your application out of interest.
  3. If you can’t get through then ask for their direct email and send the CV to them so it doesn’t get lost in the system.
  4. Follow it up within 2 days for feedback and be persistent until you get an answer.
  5. If they don’t want to interview you then try and get a reason as to why so you know what you need to do or where you are going wrong.
  6. You can also drop them a LinkedIn request after you have spoken to them.
  7. Linkedin is king at the moment and should be on every graduates guide of how to get a job.
  8. State clearly in your LinkedIn headline who you are and what you want, for example “DU Economics Graduate with Analytical Banking Internship looking for a Graduate Investment Banking Analytical Scheme”.
  9. Then add an online CV so employers can really get to know you.
  10. Start linking in with everyone relevant in that industry and hiring managers; don’t be shy to request to add them and explain why in the email.
  11. Then start being proactive on the site; join relevant groups and “Like” updates to get noticed.
  12. Be proactive! Don’t just sit there applying and hope the jobs come to you – go out and find the jobs yourself, building up a big network of contacts whilst you do it.
  13. Keep track on Excel spread sheets so you are always on top of who you are in contact with, who they work for and what they can offer you.


4) How to make sure that your CV will make an impression and get you through to the next stage?
  1. Many large recruiters use job portals to search CVs for content before a human sees them, so mirroring the language they used to advertise the position will make sure your CV gets put forward for review.
  2. For example, if they are looking for high achievers then use this exact phrase and pack the buzzwords in so you tick all their boxes.
  3. The more relevant words to the job description you have in your CV the more likely your CV will get through.
  4. Even for jobs with small or mid sized employers make sure you use relevant words on your CV as much as possible. This looks great when someone scans your CV as they instantly see all the great qualities they are looking for.
  5. Make the language relevant to the role, for example, if it’s a sales position use strong sales focused words like: drive, targets, ambition, success, business, entrepreneur etc. to make your application as suited as possible to the position.
  6. Basically, don’t just be average. Find out what the person recruiting for the job you want is looking for – and then be that person.



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