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How to make hiring managers look at your CV for longer

Philip Shepherd

1st February 2021

The average time spent looking at a CV is just 7.4 seconds—which isn’t very long at all!

If you’re hunting for your dream job, how can you make sure that your application isn’t discarded in a matter of moments? Take a look at our tips to make hiring managers look at your CV for longer.

Keep the layout simple

You might not want your CV to be boring and predictable, but there’s something to be said for putting the most important content where you expect to see it.

Use a clear, chronological layout with your most recent experience at the top. Include plenty of headings to make it easy for the reader to find your qualifications and contact information without having to hunt through the whole document, and use bullet points to draw the eye to key points.

Use an easy-to-read font

While it’s nice to add a little personality and uniqueness into your CV, choosing a quirky font isn’t the way to do it.

A classic sans-serif font such as Arial or Calibri is a safe choice, but make sure to stick with a single font for the entire document. Avoid anything smaller than font size 12 for the body text, and consider increasing the size of any headings to make them stand out.

Start with an overview

A great way to give a quick impression of who you are and what you have to offer is by including a brief overview at the top of the first page of your CV.

Think of this like the opening lines of a novel; the aim is to hook the reader so they want to keep reading. You can inject a little personality into this section, explaining why you want the job, and what makes you unique.

Don’t overdo the details

It’s hard to pare down your entire career to just a couple of pages, but huge paragraphs full of long sentences aren’t enticing to read.

Make sure there’s a good amount of whitespace on your CV by trimming the details and using bulleted lists for easy scannability. Include only the most important aspects of each role, highlight any transferable skills, and catch the reader’s attention with impressive statistics and achievements.

Write clearly and concisely

Remember that you’re trying to create a good first impression, so you should be sure to use full sentences with proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.

If this isn’t your strong point, ask a friend or relative to take a look at it for you. There are also companies that offer professional CV writing services, but these may lack the individuality that makes your application unique.

Don’t rely on keywords

While some hiring managers and recruiters use software to filter CVs based on keywords, your application still needs to be professional and informative.

Stuffing the document with keywords might help you to get through the first round of shortlisting, but a human will still read it at some point. If your CV lacks meaningful content, you won’t be asked to interview, no matter how many relevant words it contains.

Now you’ve got the perfect CV…

…take a look at the latest digital marketing roles from Opilio. We’re passionate about helping people to find the perfect position, and we’re ready to help you on your journey.

Philip Shepherd

Philip Shepherd

Founder & CEO

Philip specialises in: Senior, Director and C-Level roles in Digital Marketing

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020 7183 7145