Career advice

What is a recruiter looking for in a CV?


It is not rare for recruiters to receive hundreds of applications for coveted positions. In order to sift through such quantities of candidates, the main focus is first given to your CV. It concisely reveals a candidate's knowledge and abilities. But what are recruiters and HR managers looking for?

Write a unique CV

It is not just your cover letter that should be customised for the respective job offer. Recruiters also look to see if a CV is suitable for the open position. Thus, the most important rule: write a unique CV and always tailor it to the job on offer. This is particularly important when you have many different abilities and comprehensive professional experience, since more than likely not all of your skills are needed with regard to this open position, but rather just a few that then have much more weight. Try to put particular emphasis in your CV on the knowledge and skills most important to the relevant position and avoid irrelevant details.

Recruiters look at your CV to determine your usefulness to the company!

Recruiters are particularly interested in knowledge and experience that have a direct use for the company. If you already have many years of professional experience, then your education might be secondary. Recruiters pay special attention to your previous employers: do you already have experience in the relevant industry? How long have you already worked in a similar position? These are also the things that should be emphasised in your CV. Practical experience is even advantageous for those new to professional life, though in their case said experience is gained from internships, hobbies and side jobs.

Your education: formulate the individual stations in a way that is clear and to the point

Recruiters consider the information about your education with regard to their exploitability in the company. Ask yourself which concrete use your education has for the company. There are different nomenclatures for some degree programs, for example English or German nomenclature. Use the English nomenclature for companies who are active internationally. Due to the increasing variety of education methods and degree programs, you might have to help the recruiters with clear nomenclatures.

Make sure your CV has the clearest design possible

Recruiters and HR managers look not just at the content of your CV, but also as its structure. Thus, it should be clearly arranged. For example, it is important to have clear headings for the individual categories such as education, professional experience, and personal information. A confusing CV that only reveals important information once one has looked at it several times does not have much of a chance for highly sought-after jobs. Furthermore, recruiters check your CV for its clarity and order, as this also says much about a candidate's work ethics.

Avoid gaps in your CV

It is very important to ensure that your CV is not inconsistent and does not contain gaps. Recruiters immediately notice inconsistencies. However, if you have a gap in your CV due to a sabbatical year, then state this openly. Honesty is important. Nevertheless, remember that HR managers will probably ask about it during your interview.