How do you stop your CV being thrown out?

A recent post by Mike Wood on outlined important tips on creating impressive CVs. According to Mike “it’s about clear presentation and clarity of content. A typical recruiter will take literally seconds to decide if your CV is worth reading in full, rejecting or selecting.

So here are a few tips that you should consider when creating or revising your CV…

  • Avoid gimmicks – photos, silly borders or pink paper don’t impress
  • Use short sentences with no unnecessary adjectives – anything more is just padding
  • Only use content relevant to the specific application – otherwise it’s harder for them to spot if you’re suitable for the role
  • Use bullet point lists rather than long paragraphs – it’s just simply cleaner
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms where possible – the recruiter might not be familiar with them
  • Don’t include too much detail in your CV – they can always ask for more
  • Use the top half of the first page for Key Information – they may only read your summary anyway
  • Avoid clichés (e.g.: “team player”) – it’s just waffle written by you and means nothing
  • Avoid typos & grammatical errors – obvious errors will get your CV rejected in seconds
  • Don’t just list job descriptions – where possible, provide successes (situation – action – results) with figures if you can
  • Good layout makes it easier to read – so use plenty of white space, a simple font, bold headings
  • Don’t throw in random underlines, bold or italics – keep it well formatted
  • If you are sending your CV electronically, use PDF – at least you know it can be opened.
  • Call your CV file something meaningful – e.g.: “Fred_Blog_CV.pdf” is better than “mycv2007.docx”
  • Use 2 or 3 pages maximum – if it’s bigger, trim it down.

Make sure your CV is targeted to the role – check that the skills you list match the job requirements – one size CV definitely does not fit all!

Don’t forget your contact information – you wouldn’t believe it, but people do!

Once you think you’ve finished your CV, get someone else to read it and ask for honest feedback. You’ll be surprised how many mistakes you’ve made, and a fresh pair of eyes will spot things that you missed 20 times already.”

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5 Comments for “How do you stop your CV being thrown out?”


Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.


An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

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