25 January 2019

What Does a Recruiter Look For in a CV?

Paul Halsall

Red Tiger Consulting


When it comes to advancing your career or looking for a new role your CV should work as a personal marketing leaflet for you. It is a way to connect with a potential employer before you meet them and, as they say, first impressions last. If your CV is not up to scratch, then you may never get to meet the employer, and could miss out on a job that is perfect for you. As a boutique recruitment company, specialising in property research, site location planning and customer insight roles, Red Tiger Talent has had many a CV passed our way. So, we have put together some tips to make your CV work for you.

Good presentation

Before you have even made it to the interview stage you need to be thinking about how to present yourself to a prospective employer. A professional looking CV is essential: excellent formatting, well organised information, correct spelling and grammar are all paramount. Your CV should be just the right mix of efficient, easy to read and logical, whilst at the same time standing out from others so that your CV makes it to the top of the pile.

Stay relevant

Always tailor your CV for the role you are applying for, as you need to sell your particular blend of skills and experience and show you are the right fit for the role. Make sure you include everything that is relevant to the role you are applying for, including work experience, any volunteer work and training. This is where having a section near the top of your CV (such as Personal Profile) where you can highlight key skills for the role is helpful. A generic or out of date version may give the impression that you are not really that interested in the role.

The Essentials

There are many styles, and infinite amounts of information that you could cram into your CV, but it is best to opt for minimalism and a professional look. Here are the essential sections your CV should have:

Name, professional title and contact details – no need for age or even address as this valuable space can be used for experience.

Personal Profile – who are you, what can you do and what can you offer the company. Use empowering words like planned, managed, implemented, organised, achieved. Think of this as a professional summary and sales pitch so this is the place to highlight key skills you have that are required for the role you are applying for.

Experience and employment history – show in reverse chronological order with the most recent first. Give an outline of key responsibilities and key achievements/projects, using bullet points. Remember to be specific to the role you apply for – a senior analyst post will not require any reference to the paper round you had at 13, whereas the customer service job you had in a shop whilst at university may be relevant to a client facing role.

Education and qualifications – if you have plenty of work experience then you need only go as far back as your degree for this, unless your A level’s are in a particular subject relevant to the role.

References – mentioning at the bottom that references are available on request is a good way of saving space.

Remember to save your CV in a widely used format such as Word, or even better as a PDF so no accidental changes can be made. The best title for your file would be your full name followed by CV and the date you most recently updated it. This helps you to know that it is an updated copy, and also helps any recruiter or HR personnel know whose CV they are about to look at and that it is a recent copy.

Here to help

If you are considering looking for another role, or just want to update your CV to reflect your current experience in case an interesting role comes along, then Red Tiger Talent are here to help you. We will look over your CV and give you some tips on content and general advice on how to achieve the next step in your career, so please get in touch.

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Published by Paul Halsall

Paul is an experienced head hunter, data and insight specialist, trainer and coach. His experience lies in Location Planning and Mapping but more recently within Business Management, working internationally on a variety of accounts.


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