Does your CV pass the 15 second WOW test?

Want your CV to ‘WOW’ the recruiting manager?  Then read on …

Last week we talked about the ’15 second WOW test’ and how important it is that your CV makes a good first impression.

The first page of your CV is also your ‘sweet shop window’, you have to make the recruiting manager want to turn the page and read more …  Just like how you would feel with a good book – not wanting to put it down 🙂

You only have two-thirds of the page to make an impact so let’s look at each part.

Name – big across the top of the page.  I would suggest 16/18 size font in BOLD.  Don’t write Curriculum Vitae across the top – everyone knows what it is these days.

Contact Details – directly under your name is your contact details.  Remember to include a link to your LinkedIn profile too.  Did you know that you can customise your URL and make it shorter?

Profile – please don’t call it a Personal Statement!  That’s what you wrote to get into uni!  Your profile should be 3-5 sentences long (no more) and give the essence of who you are, what you do and who you do it for.  Please don’t be tempted to write more as it won’t get read and if you overload your CV, it will just end up on the ‘reject’ pile.

Key Skills – pick 9 and make sure they ‘subtly’ mirror and match the ones that are required as listed in the job description 😉

Career Experience – here we get down to the ‘meat’ of what you’ve done and to show how you’ve got the key competencies needed for the role.

Thinking about the title of the job you are applying for, does your current job title match that, or will the company you work for be known to the recruiter?  Whichever is the best, start with that i.e.

Google, Marketing Assistant   OR  Marketing Assistant, Dale’s Supermarket

The dates should always go to the right hand side of the page (they are not vitally important pieces of information so don’t put them first)!

Remember people invariably don’t read to the end of the sentences or to the ends of paragraphs, so TOP-LOAD and FRONT-LOAD.  The good stuff should always be towards the top and to the left hand margin.

Under your title and company name write 2 lines about what the company does and who they do it for.  This gives the recruiter a sense of the width and breadth of the company and then judge your role within it.

Then write out your experience in bullet points.  This is not an essay for uni you are writing so don’t get carried away with lengthy paragraphs.  Front-load and top-load your sentences, putting the ‘WOW’ (what you achieved over and above) at the beginning of your sentence.  Quantify where possible.

At all times you should be referring to the job description and ‘mirror and matching’ back what they need not necessarily what you have to offer.

And that is how you achieve the ’15 second WOW’.


If you have a quick question about your CV, please don’t hesitate to get in touch 🙂