What Recruiters Look For When Reviewing CVs

What Recruiters Look For When Reviewing CVs

When you have submitted your CV, let’s share what happens when a recruiter opens what you have sent.

It is a topic that is widely covered, but what happens when someone clicks? Some of the TeamJobs recruitment team share their advice and how it works on their side. 

It is important to remember that it is real people who open, read and review, not an automated bot who sifts through documents. Contact and conversations progress from this starting point.

Jaime Rana, senior consultant, says, “The majority of recruiters read what is submitted to them. A lot of the time, it can depend on the role that someone is applying for. For instance, for a contact centre role, I’ll look for key traits and job duties in the copy. When it comes to roles such as a marketing manager, this can be more in-depth. I want to see someone's progression and how their career has developed. It helps me to review before we chat and become familiar.” 

Particularly with the 18 months, people have had, gaps may be more present in their career, is this ok? Vicki Reeks, industrial manager, says, “A mainstay for many recruiters is to look straight away at any gaps. Longevity is key, but people may have been working on shorter-term roles over the past year. All it needs is a short sentence explaining why you have a gap, that way it is easier to move on. Even if you decided to take a step away for a short period, make this clear.” 

A recruiter's job is not to rewrite someone’s CV, but can help by making suggestions where necessary. A recent candidate started with a CV that needed some assistance to land the job they wanted. Rob Bruce, senior recruitment consultant, explains, “When you represent someone it becomes almost consultative. A candidate submitted their CV and didn’t break down their skill sets and the roles that took them to where they are currently. Everything was hidden and didn’t come off the page. After spending some time offering guidance and talking together, it allowed them to break down easier, so their CV was more coherent and highlighted much more clearly. Remember, you have to sell yourself too, even if it’s on a CV. When they adapted and reworked the client realised their potential and they now have a new job.”

Lucy Eaton, senior key account manager, shares some final advice, “Clients look through the start of your CV in more detail than the latter section. Use skillsets and words that will stand out the grab their attention. If you have gained someone's attention for three seconds, you have another three seconds of their attention. People do not want to read essays, length is not as important as being succinct with your career. Explaining your experience and how it relates to the role you are applying for is key.”

No matter how many years of experience you have, it is a recruiter's role to bring the right people together. A client looking for a person to support their business and a candidate looking to become an asset to a business. When you make that first step right with your CV, it can help progress your efforts for your next role.