Your CV is the first point of contact with a potential employer.  We asked Ashling, our Recruitment Specialist to offer some helpful tips on making an impactful first impression with your CV; ensuring you get called for an interview.

Think about it; your CV is the first point of contact between you and a potential employer. Your one chance to make an impactful first impression. Fact; it takes 20-30 seconds for someone to form a first impression, however, the average time spent by recruitment managers analysing a CV is shorter than that, they can spend as little as 5-7 seconds looking at a CV.

In this short space of time, your CV needs to create a great, lasting impression. You need to give the employer a reason to invite you to an interview. Your CV is, your ‘IN’.

Your CV is your ‘IN’

We have all heard the stories about recruitment managers instantly binning CV’s if there is a spelling error; if it is too long; if the required details are not intact. In a situation where multiple people apply for the same job, one could understand why a recruiter would not spend any undue amount of time processing a candidate who did not take the time to double check the content.

When compiling your CV remember that it is your only gateway to a potential interview and without an interview you won’t get the chance to impress further with your personality and experience.

8 Tips to ensure your CV creates the right impression

Tailor your CV to suit the specific role

Your CV should be targeted to the role you are applying for. Start by identifying the key skills, attributes and qualifications required. Once identified, demonstrate this in your CV. Show the employer where you use these skills, attributes and qualifications, in your current role, past role or in day to day life.

CV Length

The ideal length for a CV is two pages. If you are finding it hard to get your CV to fit in two pages, you may need to look at the information that you are including. Information that you include, needs to be relevant.

Too much information? Ensure everything you have included is relevant to the role, that you are not repeating yourself.

Too little? Are you selling yourself? Can you go into more detail about the skills and attributes that will positively impact on the role you are applying for?

Top Tip; Save space by leaving out referee details; instead write ‘References available on request’

Visual Appeal

Make sure your CV is visually neat and in chronological order. Sections should be well spaced out to make it easy to read. Use the same format throughout the CV.

Proofread your CV  

Proof, proof again; then ask someone else to proof it!

Spelling or grammatical errors can highlight a lack of attention to detail, an attribute required in most jobs. Mistakes in your CV may also give the perception that the candidate is not fully committed to the application or that they do not strive for perfection.

Quick Tips

  1. Make sure contact information is included and correct, should they want to contact you
  2. Your email address should be professional, unprofessional email addresses will be remembered for the wrong reasons
  3. Save to pdf format before you sent it to ensure that the format doesn’t get messed up when it is opened on someone else’s computer
  4. Explain any gaps in your CV, this prevents an interviewer or recruiter jumping to conclusions


More expert tips from our Recruitment team coming soon.

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