Does your CV pass the 30 second test?
Like many people, employers and recruiters work to tight deadlines. Recruitment assignments are often a yesterday business and driven by the need to fill a vacancy fast. Someone may have handed in their notice or perhaps a company is expanding quickly and needs to recruit more staff. Whatever the cause, the need is usually now and becomes more pressing the longer it takes to recruit
Research shows that most employers spend less than 30 seconds reading a CV. Even this may be overstating it. According to research carried out by The Ladders.com in 2012 the average time spent reading a CV was just 6.25 seconds. It is worthwhile pausing to think about the attention span given to your CV: it should fundamentally underpin your approach to writing it.
If you have just completed the finishing touches to your 4 page CV then you will need to think again. If you have created a 2 page CV that is so overflowing with ink that the all the reader can see is a few large rectangular blocks then you had better think again. Your CV needs to be focused, contain quantifiable achievements and include only information relevant to help the reader say ‘yes’.
Of course we are speaking here about getting your CV passed through the first sift. That quick glance through a pile of CVs that many recruiters do to look for the ones that really stand out. This is the stage where most applicants get frustrated when their CV is rejected. They know they could do the job and - if only the recruiter had read the CV thoroughly - they would have realised this too. Unfortunately, it is now too late.
So forget about including multiple hyperlinks to company websites or projects, the chances are they will not get clicked. You need to make sure the CV is easily navigable with headings clearly labelled and information presented in digestible bite-sized chunks. You need compelling and substantiated examples of achievements. And most of all the reader needs to be able to scan read the most salient points in under 30 seconds.