A CV should be like an elevator pitch – short, crisp, and without mistakes. In a study of over 1,100 employers, TimesJobs have revealed the essential elements your CV should possess so that you get the coveted job you are eyeing for. And what has also come to forefront is that Cover Letter has almost lost its relevance in this.
A demographic analysis reveals that CVs of mid-level candidates tend to have a greater rate of annoying elements. Nearly 44% recruiters say they find most annoying elements in CV of job-seekers who have applied for mid-level positions. About 36% recruiters says they encounter more annoying errors in CVs of junior level job-seekers and 20% say they find senior level CVs most trying to scan through.
A CV is the very first point of contact between a job-seeker and an employer – and making this first impression a good one is critical in getting ahead in one's career.
Most employers prefer a two-page CV with no grammatical or spelling mistakes, while a CV with no specific details related to the job applied for gets a quick rejection, reveals the study.
Here are the points that you should keep in mind:
Not More Than 2 Pages
In addition, recruiters are simply not interested in a CV that is longer than two pages. Nearly 43% say the length of CV matters the most. Almost 80% employers find a two-page to be the ideal length and 20% even preferred a single-page CV.
Drop The Cover Letter
Further, the TimesJobs study uncovered another interesting fact, that a cover letter is not essential to employers.Only 10% of the surveyed recruiters state that a covering letter is important. Almost 72% employers say that while a covering letter adds value it is not an important document. While 18% recruiters state that a cover letter holds no significance at all.
Format for Clarity
Over 35% also give extra points to the readability aspects of a CV. Bad formatting such as abrupt paragraph breaks, overuse/underuse of bolds and italics and too many fonts are other annoying elements in a CV, state 33% surveyed recruiters.
Also, presentation of one's professional journey in a logical order matters significantly say 28% recruiters. While a well-formatted CV adds appeal state 20% of the surveyed recruiters, in the TimesJobs study.
Don't Make Spelling Mistakes
According to the majority (55%) of employers surveyed, avoiding grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are essential in making a decent first impression, and these mistakes are also the first thing that recruiters notice in a CV.
Nearly 27% recruiters advise against using unprofessional e-mail ids in a CV. According to 35% recruiters more than a quarter of the CVs they scan in a month have unprofessional/absurd email-ids. While 12% recruiters are irked to see a CV with a photograph of the applicant.
While 55% candidates send their CVs in pdf format, 68% recruiters prefer a word document, 30% favor a pdf formats and 2% prefer an image format, reports the study.
Highlight what Matters to the Job
Secondly, almost half of the employers feel a CV should reflect the candidate's competencies and skills in performing the functions that the job requires. As 46% employers say a CV which doesn’t have details specific to the job role a candidate has applied for is the biggest let down for the recruiter.
“You CV should be looked at as your elevator pitch – it is that small window of opportunity that you have to get the employer interested enough to call you for a detailed discussion. It is a good practice to get an outside expert's help to highlight what you do best. As they can identify your areas of excellence, that you may not have identified yourself, and which could be crucial in turning things to your advantage.” says Nilanjan Roy, Head of Strategy, Times Business Solutions.