Have you ever thought about how much actual face time your CV gets? I am sure the cynical amongst us will say “not enough,” and, unfortunately, they will be right. The facts are rather sad, with the number of résumés companies get, you can assume that your CV will rarely (if ever) be read in full.
The time recruiters spend on CV’s
So let us talk about the science. In 2012 there was a research project by BeHiring, which found that the average time a recruiter spends reading a CV is 5 to 7 seconds. This research was repeated by TheLadders and The Telegraph newspaper in 2014, and the average time spent reading a résumé came in at a staggering 6.25 seconds!
Shocking, I know, but do not despair. All that time you spend on polishing a CV does make sense—even if it’s only 6.25 seconds of sense. Sometimes that is all you need. It is however important that, when you are constructing your CV, you keep in mind what I call “the 10-second rule.”
The ten-second rule
The 10-second rule simply states that everything you need to get an interview (also known as your relevance quotient) has to be visible within the first 10 seconds of looking at your CV. With this in mind it is worth making sure that all that shows your relevance for a job should be on the first page, while your awards and hobbies get pushed down.
Is one-page CV enough to establish a candidate's relevance?
Our friends across the great pond (The Americans) have taken this to the next level with 1-page CV’s. These though do not allow for sharing many details. Moreover, relevance of a candidate can not be established purely on the basis of their education, company name, job title, and employee tenure. You do need a little more “meat on the bone,” so to speak. This is numbers (team sizes, budgets, etc.), projects you worked on, assignments you delivered, and concepts you came up with.
This, of course, is a slippery slope. If you give too much detail, it will become lost by the time your 10 seconds is up.
Why Europass CV is a bad idea
Which leads us nicely to the Europass CV model (which I despise with every bone in my body, as many would know).
The EU CV format is horrid and antiquated. It is a desperate attempt at providing a one-model solution where it is not needed.
More importantly, the Europass CV is extremely restrictive as a template: in order to actually understand a skillset, you need to read the whole thing (and, as we already established, no one does this).
Lastly, the Europass CV is hard to showcase your skillset in, for example, if you are a developer (and even worse, if you have a broad skillset).
Your CV is your marketing flyer
Obviously, you are now all very disappointed with how little your CV matters. Please don’t be. Your CV is VERY important. It is just not important in the way you imagined it to be.
Recruiters are trained to read CV’s and look for particular points of interest and relevance. If they see those points, they will:
(1) give your résumé more time and
(2) reach out to you to find out directly from you.
If this happens, your CV has done its job. It got you into a conversation with a potential employer. That is right, your CV needs to get you an interview and nothing more. No one gets a job offer without a conversation.
Thus your CV needs to be seen as your personal marketing flyer. For it is not your life story but an elevator pitch on paper.
You have 10 seconds. Make it count.
(Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash)
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