How Top Companies Shortlist Your CV in 7 Seconds.


By Kibet Tobias

Employers receive hundreds of applications for each job they advertise, which means that they have very little disposable time to go through every CV thoroughly, to look for the perfect candidate.

That said, the urgency of filling the position also means that only the most eye-catching CV’s get into the shortlisted pile, while the rest are binned.

So, what determines which CV’s end up in the good pile, and which ones end up being binned?

4 Crucial Things Employers Are Looking for in your CV

1. Sections

A hiring manager will rush over your name, email, qualifications and previous work experience. These are the most important sections that should always appear on the first page of your CV.

It’s also important that you quote the period of your previous work experience and also make sure that you do not list your job description. Add some information in the form of achievements under each role you have held previously.

What you are allowed to list, however, are your achievements in that role and how you helped the department and the organization achieve its goals.

2. Role Titles

Employers and hiring managers go over your previous roles looking to see your relevance to the current position they are looking to fill alongside your career growth.

That said; make sure that you state your previous titles clearly.

Read Also >>> 7 Mistakes That Make Your CV Look Unprofessional

3. Turnover

How long did you last with your previous employer? In case you have held part-time jobs that didn’t last too long, you need to separate them from permanent jobs. Hiring managers are very skeptical about employing people who have had a history of job hopping because it says a lot about your commitment.

4. Small Minor Details

Typing errors, grammatical mistakes, and very wordy sentences are a turn-off to employers. Therefore, you need to go through your CV a couple of times to ensure that such minor mistakes are not present.

Why Employers Bin Your CV

1. Irrelevant Information

To an employer, reading irrelevant information is very tiring and quickly turns them off to stop reading your CV and move on to the next CV.

Unnecessary information will include marital status, religion, tribe etc.

Quick Tip: Keep your CV brief and only point out what’s relevant to the job. Don’t use your CV as a dumping ground for everything you have ever done.

2. Lack of keywords.

If you are applying for an Accounting job, for example, the keywords that should appear many times in your CV should be Accounting, Accounts, and Finance etc.

Technology has made it easy for employers select candidates using computer programs that shortlist candidates based off of keywords. The computer can be able to skim through your CV  looking for a keyword related to the job and shortlist you.

Quick tip: Ensure that you indicate keywords, and even though your previous job titles do not contain the keyword, you need to tweak them in order to match what the employer is looking for.

Also, you need to read the responsibilities and the skills required from the job advertisement, then map your skills with those required to appear like the perfect candidate.

3. You do not highlight your accomplishments

You will agree with me that the only things you highlight on your CV are your responsibilities and job titles.

But, your accomplishments are your main selling points.

Quick Tip: If you are in customer service, for example, you can say that “In my tenure at Company C, customer engagement, improved by 50% due to timely email responses and personalized calls.”

You should highlight such key accomplishments to show your value as this will warrant the employer to want to meet you in person to discuss your strategy further. After all, they would like to benefit from it too.

Related Article >>> 6 Tips To Help You Get A Job Immediately After Graduation

4. Poor CV Structure

A confused flow will be distracting to the employer and your CV might end up in the bin.

Quick Tip: Have a steady and neat flow, right from the beginning to the end.

5. You don’t qualify

Obviously, if you don’t qualify for the job you will automatically be disqualified. Most people indicate unrelated work experience to the job and end up selling themselves out.

Quick tip: Remove any information that is not relevant. Alternatively, ensure that you tailor your previous unrelated experience to the current job you are applying for.

6. Lack of contact information

Believe it or not, but some candidates send their CV’s without contact information.

Quick Tip: Ensure that the contact information you provide is working and use a professional email address.

Need help writing your CV? Speak to a Professional today by clicking here. 

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