Is Your CV Sloppy? Here’s How To Fix It.

You’re dreading getting out of bed every day to go to work. But when you think about looking for another job, the thought of writing your resume is even worse than sitting in that uncomfortable office chair for eight hours a day. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are five tips to get your CV job-search ready.

#1 You have 6 seconds to grab their attention

A recent report from the Ladders showed that hiring managers take around 6 seconds to scan a resume before deciding whether it’s worth their time or not. 6 measly seconds?! That’s a good reason to nail it.

Don’t try to create a format on your own – use a smart CV template that will boost the scan-ability of your document, like the ones available on Canva. Align all content to the left – recruiters will find it easier to read.

Create a visual hierarchy with bullet point lists. Use bold, italics and capital letters to foreground information which will make you more attractive in the eyes of recruiters.

#2 Tailor your resume to the job description

Using the same CV for every job application is like wearing a suit to every occasion. Would you wear a suit to the beach? Nah. To make sure that recruiters instantly see your resume as relevant to the position they’re trying to fill, you need to tailor it to match the job description.

Have a look at the job description for which you’re applying. Underline all the required skills and experience. Now look at other job postings for similar positions – just head over to a site like Gumtree and search for a relevant term like “Content marketing manager” or “Java developer”.

Do you see any skills or qualifications all these job descriptions share? Compile them into a list – these are your keyword skills.

To tailor your resume to the job description, sprinkle your document with these skills. Make sure that the most important keyword skills appear in the top third of your resume – that’s where the hiring manager will look first to learn whether you’re a great match for the job.

#3 Develop a resume objective

Start your resume with a bang by stating what makes you a perfect candidate for the job in the top part of your resume. A resume summary or objective should trace your career progress, and list your most impressive skills.

Naturally, you should follow up your resume objective with a section dedicated to showing when and how you acquired all these skills and qualifications. This kind of short introduction will give recruiters an idea about who you are and how you could fit into the organization for which they’re hiring.


#4 Add numbers and details

Mate, if your eyes are glazed over reading your own CV, imagine how the stranger reading 50 of them in a row is feeling. Even if you fill out your resume with your greatest skills, qualifications, and experiences, you’re not guaranteed that the hiring manager notices them at a first glance. To attract the attention of recruiters, supplement your skills with details and numbers.

Here’s how it works in practice. A regular description of your past achievement could look like this:

Significantly decreased customer complaint rate.

That doesn’t really tell recruiters how you did at your job. Instead, try this variant:

Decreased customer complaint rate by 12% through staff training.

Adding these numbers and details, you’ll be helping recruiters to imagine you delivering similar results on the job for which they’re hiring.

#5 Proofread it

Just do it! You don’t want to send out a resume full of mistakes or typos. According to this survey, typos lead 72% of recruiters to reject resumes. Even if you’ve got killer skills and amazing qualifications, a couple of errors might send your resume straight to the trash.

Check your resume twice. Ask someone else to proofread it for you as well. It’s smart to use tools like the Language Tool or Grammarly to make sure that your document is free of errors.

It pays to have a look around and start looking for the job of your dreams if you’re not working one already. Use these tricks to boost the value of your resume on the market and instantly grab the attention of recruiters, to convince them that you’re a perfect match for the job.


Amber Brunning works as a writer at She likes to cover stories in careers and personal development. When not working, you can find her online chatting with her friends or reading industry blogs.