What recruiters look for in a CV
Have you ever wondered how recruiters identify the most promising applicants? What criteria do they base their decision on? And how do they extract them from CVs?
Analyzing CVs is one of the most painstaking tasks in recruitment. In order to choose well, recruiters have to meticulously scrutinize every single CV for key indicators of performance.
The following is an overview of the strategies used to identify five key criteria while reviewing CVs in order to select the most promising candidates.
Five essential performance criteria
Including results and percentages in a CV shows that the person is focused on performance. This is particularly true if the applicant has been recognized by the employer for his/her positive impact. Such statistics also show that a person is mindful of the corporate objectives and determined to contribute to them.
Highlight your good results by listing them under a heading called “highlights” or “results”, and providing figures, monetary indicators or percentage increases whenever possible.
Is the applicant steadily moving forward in their career or remaining at the same level? Understanding how an applicant’s career is evolving over time gives recruiters an idea of their future plans.
Although ambition is not a pre-requisite for all jobs, demonstrating an energetic and pro-active attitude can’t hurt.
If your different job titles are similar or identical, you can distinguish them by describing how your responsibilities and duties progressed over time.
How long does an applicant normally remain in a position? How many months or years? This can be an indicator of a person’s willingness to stick it out through the employer’s good and less good times.
Changing jobs often between companies can be a sign of poor relations, flagging motivation, or simply lack of professional vision. A long list of short-term positions will not automatically disqualify an applicant, but it may raise red flags for recruiters seeking stable recruits.
Use your summary to highlight strong arguments supporting your frequent job changes (e.g. contract work or term assignments, short-term projects, etc.)
Periods between jobs
There can be many good reasons for stretches of unemployment, but these can also be indicators of a lack of motivation.
How can you avoid having those stretches misconstrued?
Unless you explain those gaps in your CV, recruiters may draw the wrong conclusions. It’s best to clarify these things up front and avoid being poorly seen.
In order to avoid confusion, insert a brief sentence explaining the periods between jobs (e.g. moving to another country, children, travel, illness, etc.)
Support for philanthropic causes, membership in charitable organizations and humanitarian travel say a lot about an applicant’s desire to contribute to the world around them outside of work.
Of course, including things that are not pertinent to professional development, that do not add value to the community, can tarnish an applicant’s image instead of helping it.
In order to ensure that your good deeds do not go unnoticed, be sure to include a section in your CV that is entirely dedicated to your contribution to the community.
For additional information about preparing a CV that takes recruiters’ requirements into consideration, consult our Guide des meilleures pratiques or contact one of our experts, who can give you some one-on-one coaching.
What recruiters look for in a CV
Make a good first impression!