Nowadays your CV (Curriculum Vitae) needs to stand out immediately. Attention spans are at such a low point that some hiring managers just look a few seconds to a CV before deciding if they will even read it. We’re so accustomed to clicking through web content we now do the same when reading CVs. This might be frustrating, but it’s the reality of our digital age.

Even you as a consumer do the exact same thing. When you’re looking for something online and land in an article, you’ll probably scroll it down

it down before you read it. If it looks good, you might read it, if not, you hit the back button on your browser and look elsewhere.

The exact same thing happens to your CV. Managers look at it for some seconds and either they get something interesting or different about it, or they move to the next one.

So how to make the most out of your CV to increase your chances of success?

1 – Use a flat style with an attention grabber

To instantly capture attention, you can start your CV with a short synopsis where you mention your years of experience and your big career achievements. Don’t call that part a summary like everybody else does. Use the title to directly highlight your area of expertise. Are you A-Data Diva? Are you a Safe Pair of Hands? Are you a Life-Long Achiever? Don’t be scared to be a little disruptive and original in how you position your opening.

2 – Guide the manager’s eye

As we’ve said, we no longer read CVs from top to bottom. We’ve got used to skimming content and looking at different parts of a page and quickly scroll it before we read it all. We do it instantly when we’re visiting a blog or reading any content online.

A good way to guide the manager’s eye is to use headlines and bold. Don’t use big blocks of text, those are not attractive or easy to read. Use small paragraphs and decent space between the lines.

3 – Replace skills with experience

Managers don’t care much about the skills part of your CV. Everyone keeps adding a skills section, but managers prefer to see about past experiences. Experience is something they can use, they can rely on – so, instead of telling them you can do something, tell them you already did it in your previous job. That’s the kind of differentiation that increases your odds of success.

    4 – Should you use a photo?

    There’s no right answer! The CV doesn’t need a photo, but for some role types, it’s more appropriate than others… What you must do is avoid information overload, maybe don’t place your GoT Fan Photo on the top right! Your CV is not your LinkedIn profile, and its definitely not your Facebook page! Make sure you keep a professional photo on your LinkedIn account and always link your CV to your LinkedIn page. This way you’re providing all the information the manager might want to see, but if he wants to see more about you, he clicks a link and do it.

    5 – How long should the CV be?

    Well we’re not in London and it doesn’t have to be just one page, but you shouldn’t use 10 pages either. The perfect CV is as long as needed to convey the value. Ideally, 2 to 4 pages appear to be the sweet spot at the moment. Please remember you’ll have links to your social profiles and to your email, so don’t send a huge CV. If he sees too many pages, he won’t read it.

    6 – Enhance your contact info

    Hiring managers are busy. You need to make your CV as easy to read as possible and to make it easy to contact you right from the CV. One way of doing it is by hyperlinking your email address so that a manager simply has to click to email you. It’s something easy to do and that makes the difference. You can also hyperlink some links to your LinkedIn profile or any other relevant social media profile. When the hiring manager can get in touch with just one click, you’re making it as easy as you can.

    7 – If in doubt, use a pro.

    As recruiters, we read CVs all day long, if you need help or advice make time and come up to Engage HQ and let us help you with your resume.