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you have 7 seconds to make an impression - make it count

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

If you've dealt with the pressure of a job hunt (and let's be honest, who here hasnt?!), then you've most certainly also dealt with these particular questions at least once: How does one write a reaaaally good CV? And actually, does it even matter that much?

Well, let us start with this - it does matter, quite a lot actually. Studies show that recruiters look at resumes for an average of 7 seconds. Yep, that's the 7 seconds that can decide whether you continue in the process or end up in the NO pile. What's more, there's lots of details that can influence hiring managers' opinions: One out of two CVs are discarded because they're written in third person, and 1/3 employers say that an unprofessional e-mail address is a problem (#ghostofthepast).

Need more reasons to give your CV a second look? We think not. The question that remains, however, is - how do you actually make an impression?

The internet is full of conflicting information, but, luckily, you've landed in the right place: by working closely with thousands of future female leaders, as well as with employers & organisations in all industries, we've gained a sense of the most important do's and don't. Read on to find our top 3 tips on creating a top-notch CV.

#1 keep it short and simple

Whenever you get that urge to narrate your entire life story through your CV, remember this: more than 20% of recruiters dismiss resumes for being longer than two pages. Our recommendation? Outline only the most relevant information in around 1 to 2 pages and spend the extra time on making sure the CV looks as good as it can before you apply.

pro tip: Check internet sites for aesthetically pleasing templates, e.g. freesumes.

#2 pay attention to your header

The first part of your resume is the first thing any hiring manager will see, so make sure it makes an impact. Use a high-quality picture (aka no busy backgrounds, other people - smile and use bright colors). Then, choose a headline that precisely captures what defines you & qualifies you for the targeted position.

pro tip: If you don't have professional pictures available, you can easily take some using the portrait mode on your phone, while posing with natural daylight and a neutral background.

#3 showcase relevant experience

Make sure you customise your CV depending on the position you are applying for. Stay away from generic filler statements and highlight instead what could be most relevant for the employer - this way, you can ensure that any hiring manager (or software) can process your resume with ease.

pro tip: Use certain keywords throughout your work experience section - this helps if you want to get by the applicant tracking system, a computer program designed to weed out candidates without relevant skill sets.

the extra (important) tip:

This is your friendly reminder that, when it comes to your resume, looks do matter. A well-structured and easily readable document can sometimes make the difference between yes or no.

Thus, make sure to keep your sizing and fonts consistent (+ choose a polished & readable one - Instagram might have gone the comic sans route, but you shouldn't). Keep the design simple & modern, leave out the crazy colors and, last but not least, save your document as a PDF with your name. Trust us, there's few things that ruin first impressions quite like e a word document whose layout moves around and which is called finalFINALdraftforlinkedincompanylucy.docx.

Looking for further tips to vamp up your CV, level up your LinkedIn profile and truly rock your job search? We've got you covered - our brand new career success program brings together all the career tools you need to understand your options, choose your best path forward, build the skills you’ll need to succeed, and show employers why they should hire or promote you.

From start to finish, the program will help you transform your dreams and career goals into reality: success as you define it.


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