You only get one shot to make the right first impression on a potential employer, so you don't want to make the wrong move and have your CV put into the “no” pile. Studies show that recruiters spend between five and seven seconds on average looking at a candidate’s CV, so getting it right is vital.
Read our guide below to check whether your CV passes the seven-second test.


Avoid Giving too much Information

Cramming too much information onto the page will make the reader feel overwhelmed. The hiring manager should be able to find the information quickly and easily. For this reason, you should stick to the most relevant information.

Once you've drafted your CV, take time to edit it and cut out any sentences that aren’t needed for the role you’re applying for.

Capture the Reader's Attention 

Your summary at the top of your CV is an ideal way to hook the reader's attention. Highlighting your top skills or achievements will leave the reader wanting to know more.

A great place to start is by thinking about your unique selling point. When you've pinpointed it, showcase it front and centre.

Use a Simple, Clear Layout

Your CV needs to be easy to read in order to pass the seven-second test . Choosing a simple, clear layout is very important. It can be tempting to opt for a jazzy-looking design, but don’t. Sometimes, less really is more!

Highlight Your Achievements

Your CV needs to stand out from the competition. Think about any specific training or qualifications that will give you the competitive edge.

Additionally, consider any rewards you have received for your work. Whatever accolades you have under your belt, now is the time to shout about them.

Choose Your Words Wisely

Before a hiring manager even looks at your CV, you need to get past the Applicant Tracking System. This software ranks applications by how well they meet the job criteria. One of the ways it does that is by searching for keywords so it is vital you choose your words wisely!

Refer back to the job advert and pick out specific words or phrases that the company has used.