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The average CV is read for between 60 and 180 seconds. Make sure yours makes a good impression!

A recent article on thisismoney.co.uk caught my attention. It started off by stating that “The average boss looks at a curriculum vitae for just three minutes while one in five make a decision on a candidate after perusing it for under a minute, new research suggests”.

So suggestion number one: a 2 page CV is recommended for a reason! Like Google, page 3 and onwards is unlikely to be read at all but it also conveys to the reader that you can’t be succinct with information.

The article went one: “Despite almost a quarter of candidates claiming they have excellent written communication skills, many of them fall foul of using worn clichés in their CVs, the survey of 2,000 from New College of the Humanities found”.

Suggestion number two: Make your CV personal. If you want to include a few lines highlighting who you are and your achievements make sure you make a statement and then back it up with actual evidence. CVs that read “I am a hard working, reliable, results driven individual” tells the reader very little.

The article continued:
“CV sins: According to employers, typos and grammatical errors are the biggest turn off – followed by a casual tone. Unsurprisingly, the worst mistakes to make on a CV are typos and grammatical errors, especially using ‘there’ ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ incorrectly, and ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. This is followed by a casual tone, such as using ‘you guys’ in email correspondence or signing off with ‘cheers’ to a prospective employer – as well as coming across as laid-back on the CV. In third place is the use of jargon and clichés that a candidate on BBC show The Apprentice would be proud of, such as ‘thinking outside the box’ and stating perfectionism as your weakness”.

Suggestion number 3 and 4 – use an online spelling tool. Also get someone else to read your CV over. An objective perspective is often very beneficial in highlighting any mistakes or corporate jargon that might mean something to you but very little to people outside your current organisation.

My opinion on a CV is that it should do enough to gain initial interest, making the recruiter/ recruiting company want to learn more by meeting you.

For information, please contact Mark Levine at BCL Legal.

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