What really matters when an employer reads a CV?

What really matters

Your past performance and relevance to the role are the two things that matter most to prospective employers.

There are many aspects of a CV that an employer will read and hope to see. A specific skill or qualification may be absolutely necessary for the role, so the hiring manager will obviously try to seek this out straight away. However, there is one vital important piece of information which is often lacking on a CV.

As a job seeker it’s your responsibility to demonstrate through your CV how you can benefit the company. Do you have the right skills and qualifications? Does your background present the relevant experience?

After you’ve covered the necessary aspects as requested in the job advert, there’s just one more thing you must prove to the employer. Here’s what really matters when an employer reads a CV:

Your performance

Providing the right set of skills and qualifications may get you a second glance, and it may even get you an interview. But to really give yourself the very best chance of progressing further you need to demonstrate your proven track record.

“Go ahead and read or recall your current executive summary. Ask yourself, “is there proof of my track record and would I hire myself if I read this summary?” If the answer is, “No,” then we have some work to do together.” – Nii Ato, Ivy Exec

Having an abundance of experience doesn’t mean to say you were actually good at your job. An employer has to filter out the embellished and exaggerated CVs, and focus upon the applications which clearly provide evidence of a high performance.

Tip – Rather than write cliché statements on your CV (I have great communication skills), you should look to provide evidence of your performance. This can be done in any number of ways – figures, facts, stats, revenue, sales, and examples of customer service.

“How do you actually show evidence of your skills? Describe the Situation, Task, Activity and Result where you used or acquired the skill – also referred to as the S.T.A.R technique.” – Harry Doherty, GrocerJobs

Your relevancy to the role

It will not matter how much experience you have, or how many qualifications and skills you’ve listed if they are not relevant to the role and the business. The HR manager wants to find a CV that clearly shows how that individual could function within their business. However, most applications make it difficult and fail to directly link their achievements to the role.

Tip – Make sure you fully read and acknowledge the job advert. Here you will find a lot of key information about the role and the company, and what’s expected of an employer.

“Don’t just scan the job description; really think about what the words mean in terms of day-to-day activity and how you can make your CV show that you can handle these tasks and responsibilities.” – Hays Recruitment

Try to match certain keywords to make a CV that’s both relevant and stands out from the crowd. At least half of the applications the employer receives will be generic, and won’t address the needs of the business. This means you should always tailor your CV to the role and the company, so that you are easily spotted as a worthy candidate.

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