How To Get Your CV Seen
- Proofread carefully to avoid misspellings, especially on vital words such as job titles or skills. Don’t rely on a spellchecker.
- Use a standard word format – not every ATS can handle PDFs.
- Pick out important words from the job ad and use them (and variations of them) in your CV.
- Use proper capitalisation so groups of words that are related to each other are recognised.
- Use a standard font in black – Arial, Courier and Tahoma are ideal.
- Remain consistent when reporting employment history – Company Name, Title, Location, and Date is a standard format.
- Upload your CV instead of copy and pasting to ensure formatting is kept.
- Use standard CV headings such as Summary, Work, Skills, and Education
- Don’t use image files in place of text.
- Don’t use white font to include hidden keywords – some ATSs can see this invisible text and you’ll look like you’re trying to cheat the system.
- Don’t use unnecessary abbreviations that an ATS might not recognise. When using industry abbreviations, include the spelled-out version of the word in the first instance.
- Don’t use special characters (plain bullet points are ok).
- Don’t use tables.
- Don’t put text in the header or footer – it may be ignored.
- Don’t submit multiple CVs to the same company for the same job – it can look like spam.
Name the CV document file professionally, with something like “First-name Surname CV”. Andrew Fennell, Director of StandOut CV says, “If recruiters see that your CV attachment is called “Dave’s 2nd draft”, not only does it look sloppy, but it could also make it difficult for them to search for your CV, once they have saved it to their system.
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