How to write a CV that passes the 30 second test
Did you know that on average an employer will spend less than 30 seconds reading a CV?
It’s a scary thought, but unfortunately this is true. With so many applications to read through, the hiring manager wants to make it a quick and efficient process. Obviously writing a CV that allows the employer to find everything they need is an essential approach.
Here’s how to write a CV that passes the 30 second test…
Stick to two pages
Writing a two page CV is standard for most industries, and whilst some will accept or even expect a 3-4 page application, most of the time you will find that no more than two is needed.
Certain medical professions may require an extra page to list off academic achievements. If you’re unsure as to how many pages you’re expected to submit, then try contacting the employer to find out or research your particular field.
For most however, two pages is the perfect length to pass the 30 second test. It will allow the hiring manager to connect more quickly and gather the information they need to decide if you’re a worthy candidate.
To help keep to two pages you need to consider what is relevant to the employer. You can only do this if you take a ‘tailored’ approach and write your CV specifically for each employer and the role on offer. This will ensure you remove anything which is not important to them, and keep all the best parts.
Create a CV which is easy to navigate
The structure and layout of your CV plays a vital part in your chances of success. The hiring manager only needs a few seconds to decide whether or not your CV stands a chance of getting an interview.
Spacing is everything, and too little or too many can have a damaging effect on the overall presentation of your CV. To test how well you’ve written your CV, consider giving it to a friend and ask them to spend just a few seconds searching for key pieces of information. Once they’ve put your CV down, can they confirm they have found what was on the list?
Titles for each section are a must, but the way in which you present the titles are critical. Consider putting each title in bold, and even in a larger font so they can quickly be found. The hiring manager may want to instantly search for matching skills, so if they can find yours quickly you are already making things very easy for them.