Does your CV pass the 7 second test?

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When you submit your CV for a job vacancy you do not have long to impress. With the ever-increasing volume of applications being received, Hiring Managers spend on average 6 to 10 seconds looking at each applicant’s CV.

That really is a short time to grab the readers attention and to impress.

So, you need your CV to stand out, grab their attention and ensure it lands on that all-important shortlist pile & not reject.

Here are our top tips to make sure that your CV passes the 7 second test…


  1. Capture the reader’s attention

The best way to do this is to tailor your CV for every job you apply for. Use relevant examples and pull out the key skills that they are looking for from their advert to show you are a good match.

  1. Pay attention to your personal statement

With an average of only 7 seconds to impress, it makes sense to concentrate on one of the first things a Hiring Manager reads – your Personal Statement. Here you should focus on what you can offer, your career goals & to emphasise that you have the specific skills the employer is looking for.

  1. Keep it short

Most recruiters & CV professionals say your CV should be no more than 2 pages. In some circumstances 3 is acceptable, but certainly no more.

Be brief, succinct, use bullet points and don’t include everything, just your key responsibilities & achievements – plus of course the most relevant ones for the specific role you are applying for.

  1. Great formatting

Ensure your CV is easy to read & navigate. Some people think they are impressing the reader with various boxes, infographics & logos. But really the reader wants to quickly find the information they are looking for to base a yes or no decision on as to whether you are a good fit for the role.


Remember – one size certainly does not fit all and ditch the cliches like, “excellent team player” and “good communication skills” as you can guarantee 85% of all applicants would of also put this in their CVs.

Need more CV advice? You can download our FREE ‘How to write the perfect CV’ guide here –