Over the last two decades of my experience in recruitment I have noticed changing preferences amongst hiring managers in the way they evaluate a CV and similarly, candidates have changed their way of presenting their profile. However, many a times there are mistakes that numerous candidates make while presenting the facts. This appears a very mundane yet an important aspect of finding the right job.
As a starter, let’s recognise the fact that our attention span has reduced significantly and hence, hiring managers are expected to do more in less time and use less resources. Hence, howsoever detailed a candidate might want to describe about himself or herself, the hiring manager or the HR manager typically looks for a keywords in the CV to decide if a discussion is worth the time. Hence, it’s critical to be concise and focus on the job one is applying for. Several job portals and networking sites allow their users to build their CV; this helps the candidates to swing their CVs to the recruiter quickly. However, we know that one size doesn’t fit all. Hence, the CV needs to focus on what the recruiter is looking for.
Secondly, the CV needs to have information which represent the candidature in a holistic manner. To build such a presentation, there has to be a part which can be considered as a minimum requirement and helps all recruiters. These minimum details are name, date of birth, place of stay, education, work history, areas of interest and accolades at various stages of life. These are vital statistics for most roles in an organisation and give an idea about the candidature. Hence, these must be presented accurately and completely. I have seen many applicants and jobseekers paying scanty respect to these details and as a result, earn disrepute to them and other stakeholders involved in the recruitment process. Another kind of commonly found features of many CVs is spelling errors, grammatical errors, misrepresentation of data, verbosity, lack of coherence in presentation. These are completely avoidable. One must always be honest and pay the highest attention to details while furnishing these details.
Last, but not the least, while preparing the CV, one must know what will the future employer be looking for and accordingly evaluate the match with those criteria. It is highly desirable that the CV focuses on the facts around achievements and skills to describe the match with the role. Such a CV could just be 1 page long and is highly focused. The recruiter and the interviewers could easily read the CV and plan the interview well. Most of the times, CVs focus a lot on what the person has done and achieved without paying much attention to what is being looked for.
Putting everything together, the CV must be comprehensive with a few vital statistics and focus on what the recruiter is looking for rather than giving a standard CV for all jobs focusing exclusively on the applicant. Let’s win the game!