How Long Will A Hiring Manager Or Recruiter Spend Reading My CV?

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Recruiters and hiring managers have their own rules on how much time they will spend reading through a candidate’s professional CV. For a specialised role or more senior role, a HR Manager will receive much fewer CV applications and are more likely to read through entire CVs. How long will they spend on a role, though, that receives over hundreds of CV applications? Is it realistic to think that they are going to read through every single CV?

Time is always scarce and reports suggest that a hiring manager will generally spend no more than 20-30 seconds analysing a candidate’s CV. If they cannot find the information they are looking for immediately, or your CV writing is not presented, structured and formatted correctly chances are that your CV will be deleted. This is the cut throat world of job seeking. Make a HR Manager guess and your CV is sure to end up in the recycle bin.

Times have changed and with competition for jobs so intense the responsibility of writing the perfect CV is more important than ever.

Why isn’t the hiring manager reading through my entire CV?

In an ideal world, a team of HR representatives would sit down and together go through every CV that they receive for a particular role. The HR team would analyse every person and read through every page of each CV with a fine-tooth comb. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Managers are under pressure to fine the right candidates in the shortest amounts of time. In many cases, a hiring manager or recruitment agent may be sourcing multiple jobs and therefore may be receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of CVs. A former colleague of mine was once recruiting for 15 different roles and received more than 3000 CV applications!

How can I make my CV stand out from the crowd?

With such limited time for your CV to stand out to the potential reader, you need to focus on highlighting your achievements and the value-added skills that you can bring to your next job. Often times, people remain fixated on listing all the daily duties they perform in a particular job. From a hiring manager’s point of view, being able to perform the job is expected – this does not make you stand out from the competition. The hiring manager wants to know that if they hire you for the job, you will not only successfully fill your duties, but you will also bring a whole range of skills to the business.

Five tips to making your CV shine:

Use strategic keywords throughout your CV (if the business is using software programs to read through the CVs, make sure that your CV will be noticed)

  • Target your CV toward the job and industry you are applying for. One size does not fit all!
  • Turn your responsibilities into “achievement statements”
  • Use examples to back up your statements
  • Quality over quantity

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