Tips to Pass the CV Test


Posted on 26/06/2020 by Diane Scally


Recent studies show recruiters are spending between 6 - 30 seconds reading a resume.  

These seconds are critical to engage and showcase your potential to the reader, to avoid them losing interest. 

With an average of 250 candidates received for each freelance position and up to 1000 for a permanent positions (depending upon level, skillset and sector), your CV needs to ensure it is clear and concise to reduce your chances of rejection and improve your prospect of an interview.

According to many employers, the first half or “skills" section of the CV is the most important area. 


Top Tips!
Make sure your CV has your name, contact details, folio link (if relevant) as well as your LinkedIn details.  CV’s need to have your contact details on them to be read and stored on a database.

Double check your CV for spelling mistakes.  Get a friend to read through to give you feedback.  Typos and grammatical errors are a big NO NO. 

If the position you are applying for needs a portfolio, make sure this is sent with your CV as a pdf or URL to keep everything together.  Consider data storage and keep the file size to a minimum (some companies have file size restrictions).  Do not send your CV as a linkedIn link, or as a drop file unless requested, this can cause issues from a data storage as well as virus concerns.  Make sure any links work.  Beta test your CV and all links, email addresses.

Remember, if you are applying for role that you do not have any experience in do not be surprised if you are not selected.  Transferable skills are of interest to employers however, you need to have most skills necessary in the first place.

If you think the role is “perfect” and that you are the “ideal” candidate.  You need to prove it with you experience and folio if required.  If the job description requires beauty (for example) showcase your beauty experience.  I constantly hear candidates explain that they have certain work experience but it is not listed in their cv or their work examples.  HR, Talent Managers, Employers and Recruiter are not mind readers.

List your employment in reverse order check if all the dates are correct.  Any work gaps need to be validated.

Add your education
An overview of dates and the qualifications you obtained is all you need for this section.

CV design
Keep to simple layouts, uncluttered with plenty of white space on a page, do not use multiple colours.   Ensure clear sections and bold titles with bulleted accomplishments.

Ensure that the font is no smaller than 10pt

Keeping the CV to two to three pages maximum.

Don’t forget that your social media presence LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest are up to date to mirror your CV from work dates to interests.

Personally, I would suggest not wasting your limited resume space by listing your references or including a note like “References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume. Employers do not usually request that information until interview, and they know you'll provide the information when they ask for it.

Check, Check, Check
Spelling mistakes and typos can see a CV being rejected.  There is nothing worse than reading a CV that mentions “attention to detail” and then has typos or spelling errors throughout the CV.

Some companies use ‘Applicant Tracking Systems.’ to pre-screen CV applications.  These systems cannot read graphs, images or tables so keep the CV to a simple template.  You can always have a creative one as well.  Your CV must have the keywords necessary to progress in your application.  Scrutinise the advert, if you are relevant to the position ensure that your CV includes the exact words in your experience section.  If you are looking for Digital Designer position (for example), make sure this appears in your job titles and other prominent areas of the CV.

And if you are experiencing rejection or not getting an interview request relook at your CV, folio, social media etc.  Sometimes a small tweak can make all the difference.

Good luck!