It can be challenging to know how your CV will be viewed by your potential new employer. You naturally want to put your best foot forward, but this can be confusing with many online help tools giving contradicting advice. Below we are going to run through the steps a recruiter takes when reviewing your CV. If you are unsure how to format your CV please see our previous blog for help.

On average a recruiter will spend 7 seconds per CV, this may sound short but they are accustomed to skim reading and picking out key content. Therefore, it is important to ensure your CV is formatted correctly to show your best attributes.

Step 1 - Personal Information

Your personal information should be at the top of the page as it will be one of the first things the recruiter see’s. A clear professional format will help the recruiter to know how to best contact you if they would like to progress your application. They will mostly likely spend no more than a second skimming over your details.

An important step is to check your contact details are correct, there’s nothing worse than missing out on a job due to a misspelled email address or incorrect phone number. Even if you are the perfect candidate if the recruiter has no way of contacting you to tell you this they will sadly have to move on.

Step 2 - Education & Qualifications

A recruiter will then skim over a brief summary of your qualifications and education. They won’t spend too much time on this section unless the role has specific education requirements. This section needs to be in chronological order to ensure ease of reading.

Step 3 – Experience/Employment History

This is the part a recruiter will spend the most time on. They will start with your most recent role referring to both the type of work, who you worked for and when.

A recruiter will quickly summarise your key duties and achievements to see what skills you already have or could pick up quickly from existing skill sets you have acquired. In this section bullets points are a great way to get your point across quickly and clearly.

They will also be able to read between the lines to see what skills you may have acquired from these duties that you have not stated on your CV.

For example, if you were in charge of taking all incoming calls its likely you are able to think on your feet to find proactive solutions quickly. A good recruiter will be able to spot a range of skills from a CV such as:

Work ethic


Teamworking ability


Specialist skills

Their next step would be to go through any previous roles focusing on related roles or transferable skills.

A CV can say a lot more than the words you type which is why a good CV is so important.

Tip: the most important rule is to make your CV flow chronologically to ensure the ease of reading for the recruiter. Having the information they needs easily accessible will increase your chances of getting noticed in those first 6 seconds.

Step 4 - Additional Sections

At this point a recruiter will have already made their decision. If they think you have what it takes to progress or want more information they may spend longer on your CV.

If they want more information about you they may read additional sections such as personal interests. Having the correct cultural fit is important for both you and the company to make sure this is the right long term fit for both parties. This section is for you to add any relevant hobbies such as team activities for a team leadership role or computer abilities for an IT role. This allows the recruiter to get an idea of your personality or passion for the role and industry.

At this point the recruiter will most likely contact you via phone or email to have a chat. This will consist of them explaining the role to you more and asking some questions about you. This is a great opportunity for you to ask any immediate questions you had to check this is a good fit for you.

I hope this have given you an insight into how talent teams often operate and will help you to understand the process you will be going through better. If you have any questions about how a specific companies operate reach out to the talent team you are applying to who will be more than happy to help you understand what to expect. Recruitment professionals are human and will always aim to do their best by their candidates so don’t be scared to have a chat with us.

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