Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How to recognize a promising CV when recruiting

Recruiting is a time-consuming process, and for managers hiring for the first time, it can feel overwhelming to work your way through a large pile of CVs. 

To narrow down the pool of applicants, it can be helpful to look out for key indicators of genuine passion in each application. Ahead, we look at five ways to recognize the most promising CVs when recruiting.

Good formatting, spelling and grammar

When a CV is formatted effectively and is free from spelling and grammatical errors, you’ll be able to read through it with ease, and find information quickly when you need to refer back to it. If a CV is poorly formatted and littered with mistakes, consider this a red flag. 

Technology and online resources have made it easier than ever to create effective, error-free CVs, so failure to make use of such resources can suggest a lack of initiative and poor attention to detail on behalf of the candidate.

Concise information

A strong CV is usually limited to just one or two pages. Even candidates with lots of experience should be able to condense their work history and skills into two concise sheets of A4. 

When a CV is too long, it suggests that the candidate may not know how to choose the most relevant parts of their work history to present to the employer – whereas a concise CV indicates that a candidate has carefully curated their experience to demonstrate their suitability specific to the job that they’re applying for. 

Plus, it’s a sign that they’re comfortable with written communication, capable of translating their previous job roles and achievements into short and succinct points.
Examiner reading a resume during job interview at office Business and human resources concept.

Specific examples of achievement

Promising candidates are those that add genuine value to their prospective employers. Usually, you can identify them by looking out for specific and quantitative examples of their achievements in their work history. 
 
For example, a candidate may cite their previous experience negotiating vendor discounts, and quantify their success by stating how much money they saved their employer per quarter on their CV. 
 
A candidate that recognizes which of their actions achieved results is likely to be goal-oriented, driven and hardworking.

 

Loyalty in previous roles

 
When a candidate lists several jobs within a relatively short time frame on their CV, it suggests that they may find it difficult to commit to any one job role, which can cause an employer to question their loyalty. 
 
Hiring someone with a history of job-hopping runs the risk of having to rehire and retrain a new candidate quickly – a process that is very costly. Recruitment experts usually expect candidates to hold each job listed on their CV for at least a year
 
The longer the stint, the more likely a candidate is to make considerate career choices and be in their next role for the long haul.
 

A strong personal statement

 
A personal statement can help you to quickly understand the motivation behind a candidate’s application and whether they could be a good fit for the role.
 
good statement runs under 150 words and mentions education background, key skills and experience, and career aspirations. A bland statement that uses generic phrases such as “hardworking and dedicated” suggests a candidate hasn’t put much thought or time into their CV.
 

The CV is just the first step

 
Keep in mind that the CV is the first step in identifying the right candidate. If an applicant seems like a good fit for the role but their CV is missing some of the features outlined above, you have the opportunity to learn more in a telephone or face-to-face interview. 
 
Look at CVs as a way to sift out the least qualified candidates and use it as just one of several tools in finding the right person for the job.
 
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Athena Addison

Athena Addison

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