Does Your CV Sell Itself In 6 Seconds?

24th July 2013

We came across an interesting article from the LinkedIn blog recently, which looked at the average read time of recruiters who are faced with hundreds of CVs. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

The average recruiter dedicates only six seconds to a CV, in which time they make snap decisions on whether to continue reading. Another useful piece of information is that they tend to read across the page in the shape of the letter Z, from left-to-right across the top and then back down the left hand side.

With this information, we know that CVs must grab attention within those six seconds and that the top fold of the CV is where all the action is. Forego the introductory paragraph and instead use that space to list skills and an experience summary, keeping fonts above size 11 to maximise readability.

Even with the most optimised CV, you can still suffer from not having the right contacts. 8 out of 10 CVs are never seen by humans, 80% of filled jobs are filled through referrals and recommendations. Hiring managers prefer to rely on these methods rather than sifting through hundreds of sheets of paper to uncover a potential candidate.

Optimising your CV is still important, but it needs to be partnered with networking. Getting that CV into the hands of the hiring manager is half the battle, so combine that CV with a proactive job search strategy!


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