Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson

Articles From the Team

Here's what a hiring manager scans for when reviewing résumés

Business Insider UK ran an interesting article last December which included a video heat map detailing how hiring managers, HR staff and recruiters scan your CV. The main thrust of the video and article is that ‘Recruiters spend an average of just 6 seconds on your resume’ and the video identifies the key areas. These are as follows:

- Your Name - Current company and position - Start and end date - Previous position (and dates) - Educational Information

The video wraps up with a review which states you should:

- Keep a visual hierarchy - Make your resume clear & concise - Avoid pictures & photos

Link to original article:

BCL Legal – opinion

The idea of using a video heat map is great as it explains very clearly the main areas a hiring manager looks at when considering your application. For many roles, the quality of your academics, the standing/reputation of your existing and previous employers, and your specific job title will be the key criteria for the initial sift. Hiring managers who are required to scan many CVs will use a first sift to determine suitability and will then go back and review their pre-sifted list in more detail – typically between 1-3 minutes. It is therefore important that your CV is set out in a clear and concise manner, to help the reader scan the pertinent details and to give you the best chance of making the initial short-list.

Cluttered or confusing CVs are a distinct disadvantage and so you should try to keep the content clear, concise and factual. Definitely avoid photos, pictures or graphics, and do try to keep the text all one colour (black). It should also be a font size that is easily read.

Once the initial sift is out of the way, the hiring manager will go back over the CVs they feel have most promise. It is therefore critical that the content about your experience, and not just the headline titles and information, is clear, concise and relevant for the role you are applying for.

If you would like advise on setting out your CV, why not take a look at the BCL Legal  website and some of the consultants blogs on the subject. You can find more information here:; and here:

For more information, please contact Craig Wilson at BCL Legal

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