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The secrets to a successful CV

Written by: This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 272, March 2019.
Published on: 25 Mar 2019

James Reed says that if a CV hasn't hooked its reader within seven seconds, it will get rejected. Here are the secrets to an engaging, relevant job application. 

While the UK has near-full employment, at Reed we receive more than 600,000 applications every week from people looking for their next job. If you extrapolate that figure, it adds up to a lot of reading for recruiters – and it’s little wonder that it takes just seven seconds for someone to decide if your CV is going into the reject pile. While this sounds brutal, the good news is that you can learn techniques to ensure it will pass the seven-second test in future. 

What recruiters want 

If you’ve ever described yourself as a goal-driven, self-motivated multitasker in your CV, make a point of not doing so again. It’s a description that recruiters have heard many times before, but doesn’t actually say anything about you. A good CV will present you as the unique solution to a particular problem – the job on offer. This involves focusing on your special talents or unique selling points. 

Recruiters’ needs are remarkably few. They want to hear why you’re the best candidate for the job. They want to know your mindset and personality. They don’t need your entire life story. Your CV is a document with a single purpose: to get you an interview. 

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 272, March 2019. 

Find out more 

This article is usually only open to Business and Management Faculty members or subscribers to Faculties Online but for a limited time, it has been opened to all.