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Is your CV costing you that foot in the door?

As InspHired we have always been a tech forward company, however it had me thinking that, yes we do video recruitment so why does one still need a comprehensive CV?

As much as we are living in a world where we are trying to prove that there is a real person behind a CV, we are also living in a new world of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which most of us are still getting to understand. If your CV lacks crucial information you WILL get passed by for that exciting opportunity, simply because your skills are not listed or something as basic as the format in which it is saved in.

First impressions are decisive. When you meet people, you weigh them up within seconds. Are they organised, dynamic, trustworthy? And so forth. Employers and recruiters reading your CV effectively meet you for the first time and ultimately ask themselves similar questions about you and make their decision within seconds, that is why making the right first impression with your CV is crucial. But no matter how extensive your experience or comprehensive your skills, if your CV is confusingly presented or badly formatted, chances are you will not be getting the opening into that door.

Here are the key things to bear in mind as you lay out your CV:


  • Before you get trigger happy and start typing, pick a standard font and shy away from the comical ones. Ideal fonts to use are Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman, size 11/12.
  • Use standard CV headings and avoid putting crucial info in headers and footers.
  • Also remember that CVs don’t come in a 1 size fit all, it has to be specific for the specific job you are applying for. Standard CVs might not showcase your skills well enough  which means you have to tailor it to work for you.
  • Spelling and grammar are important as these also create an impression so ensure you check those before clicking save and send. When saving your completed CV, save it in a PDF or word format and avoid uploading scanned copies of your CV to ensure, when it is uploaded on a certain career portal, AI doesn’t kick it out because it can’t read it and hence costing you the opportunity, or even opportunities.


Crucial things to include:

  • Personal details: So the first thing before you identify your next career move or even your first job is to ensure your CV represents you as a brand and a person. Include personal information and correct contact details i.e. telephone number and email address in which you can be contacted. It is often such a low blow coming across a brilliant CV, but with no way of getting in touch with the person, which is in essence one of the main outcomes of the process.
  • Education and Employment history: Ensure that this in chronological order (from most recent going down), with the year in which you completed a certain qualification (also include any other academic/training certificates and courses undertaken). Dates are also important. Include start and end dates for all your employment periods. If there are any gaps in between your employment go ahead and explain them. List all your skills and avoid acronyms. Key achievements in both these domains are also worth mentioning.


Just to end off where we started, give yourself the best chance of having your CV actually read. Make sure that it looks right, it’s not too long, laid out correctly, properly formatted and so on. Remember, your CV has to sell you and give not just a good first impression, but a lasting one, that is enough to make the recruiter/employer lean back in their chair, take another sip of coffee and start to digest – not scan – what you’ve written and potentially give you that much awaited call, that leads to the foot into the door. Getting your CV right is the first job you have on the way to getting that job. You have one job_don’t miss the shot!


By Norma Banda


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