Recruiters Don’t Read Your CV or Resume

Everyone is busy these days. Effective communication is more important than ever – and nowhere more so than in your CV or resume. If you’re trying to catch the attention of a Hiring Manager, Recruiter or Business Owner, applying these 3 tips could dramatically accelerate your job search success.

1)   Headline Yourself With A “Big Idea”

One thing is for sure in job search, blending in is like a kiss of death. You need to stand out. And stand out for the right and relevant reasons. Introduce yourself with a “Big Idea”, something specific, that has meaning and instant appeal to your target audience. Maybe you’re a ‘CIMA-qualified Management Accountant specialising in the Adventure Travel Sector’. Maybe you’re a ‘Multi-Award-winning Creative Director’. Whatever you are, make sure you’re introducing yourself with fact + dazzle, so you stand far-out from the crowd.

2)   Elevator Pitch Your Expertise

Too many CVs and resumes still hide the benefits they should be selling deep inside the details of the career history. This is a huge mistake. If you are asking the reader of your CV/resume to forage through your career to discover if you have what they are looking for, you’re already out of the race. Did I mention that recruiters don’t read CVs? Well, let me explain, it’s not that they don’t look at them. But they don’t process them with a linear read, line-by-line, point-by-point, the way you want them to as you detail and painstakingly edit every word. In truth, it’s more of a scan or skim-read. Watch any experienced recruiter on a ‘first-pass’ of a CV/resume and you’ll see they’ve assessed you in a matter of seconds. And it’s usually nearer 10 than 20. As we were preparing one client for a recent McKinsey & Co. application, the first (2-page) resume was rejected by the in-house lead before reading with the comment, “unless you’ve just sold a billion dollar startup, you can fit it on 1-page.”

Today, you need to do the heavy lifting for your reader. So their rapid scan enables them to make an accurate analysis. Research the 5-7 areas of expertise they are looking for and pitch those skills as if your life depends on it. Highlight them. Bold them. Bullet them… so they cannot be overlooked. Then back them up with your gold-standard example. It’s the written equivalent of the 30-second elevator pitch. Pitch hard, or miss out.

3)   Capture Curiosity With Your Fascinating Facts & Wow Handles

Notice I said, ‘capture curiosity’. That is different from saying “explain everything you’ve ever done.” Too many candidates are boring their readers with too much, too soon. Rather than detailing all the specifics, highlight the most newsworthy headlines and tantalise your reader with a fact-rich summary. It’s better than overloading them with full descriptions. Explanations are better saved for interviews.

Select your vignettes. Share your impressive facts. Inspire your reader’s imagination. Capture their curiosity and arrest their attention with your words. ‘Wow handles’ make it easy and exciting for your readers to pick up elements of your experience to share with their colleagues or clients. Make sure your content is “wow” enough to pass along.

When it comes to capturing attention with the allure of fascination and brevity, Oscar Wilde said it best, “If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.”

In summary, help Recruiters and Hiring Managers to help you by making your CV/resume a concise and targeted read. If you ‘win-the-skim’, you’ll earn their full attention and the chance for deeper consideration for the role.

At Obvious Candidate, we positioning ambitious job seekers and promotion hunters for their next career step. We specialise in helping our clients land 6-figure roles with the world’s most sought-after employers. We also have success guiding applications to leading universities and colleges around the world. What we’re most proud of is how they return when they want to do it all over again a few years later. It all begins with a conversation. If you’re ready for your next career step, or if your job search is taking too long, book in for a call here.

[FREE DOWNLOAD] For 7 proven strategies and over 40 tips to accelerate your job search, click the image below and download our latest guide to ease your way to a successful career transition.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.