Does Your CV Pass The 7-Second Test?

While we write our CV for the first time, there is a fair possibility of getting it wrong, but does it mean we stop? Of course ‘No’, we start writing a better CV. Many believe that it comes to you after multiple attempts but how would you feel if I say, there is a possibility to get it nearly perfect, the very first time with a secret I know.

If you find this intimidating, I shouldn’t keep the secret long enough from you. Well, studies show that most of the employers look for about 7 seconds on your CV. Just seven seconds, okay?

Your task is to make your CV so convincing, that seven seconds should be enough to convince the one looking at your CV that you are the right candidate for the job. Remember a small thing, if your CV can convince you within seven seconds, it can convince anyone within the fifth of seconds.

With the above line in the head, let’s dig into what you should do to make your CV claim a ‘yes’.

Try keeping it short and on point

If I provide you a book about myself and a summary of the same, you will more likely read the summary as your goal here is to know what I do, not my whole life, right?

The same applies when anyone else is hiring you. They are interested more in the value you can provide rather than your life history.

One page or maximum two page CV is commendable and most likely to be selected by the recruiter. Keeping that in my mind, what you need to do is to shortlist the value that you will provide to them. Yes, your academics is important as it shows how professional and flexible you are, so be specific regarding that. Add your current academic status along with all the past ones with the start and end date.

Once you have shortlisted what you want to keep in your CV, check if there is space for adjustment or anything that you left that might show you as a person. Do not fill it up with everything positive, they know you are a person, not God!

Read, Research, And Then Draft

What I mean by reading and researching is about the place or company you are applying to. You should know in advance about the job for which you are applying well enough. To get to the interview round, you need to get through this CV shortlisting. Hence, you must speak about the value you can provide through your work.

Match up the expectations of the job description and reflect it in your CV. Add your co-curricular as a mark of special interest, your recruiter will hear it as “I’m more than just your job, I can be helpful in other areas of your work as well, so you need me like I need your job”. Anyone would love to have someone who can be trusted upon with other works as well, you might never get to do ‘the work’ but it’s good to know for people that they have someone to rely on.

Your Layout Speaks a Lot About You

You might be wondering how is that even possible, but think of it like this, when you meet someone for the first time, even if you truly believe that their outfit has nothing to do with their personality, still some part of your brain judges the book by the cover. Why else do you think they print good covers?

Yes, now you get it. So, your CV’s cover is its layout. Print or design easy layouts. By easy I mean, logical, simple, aesthetic, and directional. Use words that define you.

Format all the unnecessary details, first. Then build a structure that can highlight your key points. Your introduction is not just your name, keep that in mind while drafting the CV. Every sentence you write is how you are putting yourself out in front of a stranger, make sure you frame an honest picture.

With all these in mind, get your CV reviewed by the people who can tell the truth on your face. If you feel that you can improve, do not hesitate to sit down and work again.

Viveka Batra

Viveka Batra

Human Resources Business Partner


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