How to write a CV that passes the 7 second test

How to write a CV that passes the 7 second test

Your CV is often the first chance you have to promote yourself to an employer or recruiter. Given the number of applications that are sent, it is important that your CV stands out as it will be used to decide whether your application will be taken to the next stage. 

Studies show that on average, it takes just 7 seconds to look at a CV and decide whether to take a candidate to interview stage.

How can you ensure your CV lands in the ‘yes’ pile? Here’s our guide to writing a CV that will pass the 7 second test:

Write a short profile. Make your profile sound like you’re the right person for the job. Refer to the job description for the role you are applying for, highlighting your skills and experience that match what the employer is looking for.

Tailor your CV to suit the job description and the company. List all the relevant skills and experience that you’ll need to do the job.

Keep it short. Your finished CV should be no more than 2 pages long, unless it’s an academic CV.

Include your contact details. Make it easy for the employer to contact you if they want to offer you an interview.

Add your education history. If you’re early on in your career, or you don’t have much work experience, you can add this section directly under your profile at the top of your CV.  If you have more experience, you may want to show your work history and skills first.

Add your work history. Include placements, voluntary work, and any paid jobs. You should list these with the most recent first. Include:

  • the employer details, such as company name
  • the job title
  • the dates that you worked there
  • what you did

Don’t just list responsibilities, give positive examples of your achievements. Use the STAR method to help.

Explain gaps in your work history. You can give examples of skills you developed during the times you were out of work, explaining how you got them.

Show the skills you have through your hobbies, interests, and achievements. This is particularly useful if you do not have much work experience.

Double check spelling and grammar. Get someone else to proofread if possible.


For more FREE advice on writing a good CV, give RecruitAbility a call on 01279 758855

Posted on Monday Oct 2