Nowadays, you no longer need to send or hand out printed copies of your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to potential employers. Everyone, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, is applying to jobs online. While this is very convenient, it also has a disadvantage: you’re competing with way more people because everyone is doing it.
Due to the large influx of CVs that Human Resources managers have to deal with, they’ve come up with a system where they take just six seconds on average skimming a CV before passing on to the next. So as a job hunter, your CV needs to be impressive enough that it stands out in just six seconds.
So, are you ready to take the test? Is your CV impressive enough in just six seconds? Answer these three questions honestly to see if you do:
If you sent an application to a job you’re sure you’re qualified for, then you would, of course, expect a response. However, if you often don’t receive any follow-up, there may be issues in your CV that need to be addressed.
HRs use a software called applicant tracking system (ATS) that automatically identifies applicants fitting for the job. With that said, it also automatically rejects those whose CVs don’t align with the job post. So, to pass the ATS, you must incorporate words and phrases from the job description into your CV. If you mirror these into your CV, that allows the ATS to determine you are fit for the job. Failing to do this will result in the ATS immediately flagging your CV and rejecting it.
It feels great when you open your emails and messages and find a headhunter reaching out to you. However, if you see that the role they’re reaching out to you does not suit your skills or isn’t something you’re interested in, there’s a chance that your CV is sending mixed messages.
Your CV must have a clear objective, aligning with every aspect of your career and job goal throughout the document. Your skills and qualifications must also align with them. In short, your CV must be showcasing numerous things about yourself, but it should have one clear end goal.
To ensure that your CV appeals to strangers, they should easily spot your significant skills and accomplishments. Prioritise these features by putting them at the top third of your CV since they are your selling points. This way, when a stranger looks at your CV in a few seconds, they can immediately name your goals and features.
If it does, then that’s great. If it doesn’t, then you’ll need to revise or reshuffle your CV. Ensure that your selling points are at the top third of your CV since this is where a stranger first looks upon opening your CV. Just think about how you’d get immediately hooked on a feature article with just the headline and the first few sentences. You should mirror the same technique with your CV.
Asking these three questions to yourself will let you know if your CV passes the six-second test. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to revise and polish your CV so that employers will look at your application favorably.
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