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15 tips to make sure your CV gets seen

Get help writing a great CV and more in our Career Tips section.   

A CV is only valuable if someone actually sees it – according to LinkedIn 72% of CVs aren’t even looked at. That’s because software used by recruiters and hiring managers can mistakenly decide your CV isn’t relevant for the position, preventing your CV from ever getting in their hands.

Luckily, writing a CV that ends up in front of a real person is easy enough when you know your dos and don’ts, so our CV experts have put together these 15 simple tips to make sure your CV gets seen.

Don’t forget to also use our awesome CV valuation tool ValueMyCV. As well as telling you how much your skills could be worth to your next employer, the in-built CV booster can help improve your chances of landing your dream job!

A transcript of the infographic is available beneath the image.

How To Get Your CV Seen infographic

How To Get Your CV Seen

  • Proofread carefully to avoid misspellings, especially on vital words such as job titles or skills. Don’t rely on a spellchecker.
  • Use a standard word format – not every ATS can handle PDFs.
  • Pick out important words from the job ad and use them (and variations of them) in your CV.
  • Use proper capitalisation so groups of words that are related to each other are recognised.
  • Use a standard font in black – Arial, Courier and Tahoma are ideal.
  • Remain consistent when reporting employment history – Company Name, Title, Location, and Date is a standard format.
  • Upload your CV instead of copy and pasting to ensure formatting is kept.
  • Use standard CV headings such as Summary, Work, Skills, and Education
  • Don’t use image files in place of text.
  • Don’t use white font to include hidden keywords – some ATSs can see this invisible text and you’ll look like you’re trying to cheat the system.
  • Don’t use unnecessary abbreviations that an ATS might not recognise. When using industry abbreviations, include the spelled-out version of the word in the first instance.
  • Don’t use special characters (plain bullet points are ok).
  • Don’t use tables.
  • Don’t put text in the header or footer – it may be ignored.
  • Don’t submit multiple CVs to the same company for the same job – it can look like spam.

Bonus tip:

Name the CV document file professionally, with something like “First-name Surname CV”. Andrew Fennell, Director of StandOut CV says, “If recruiters see that your CV attachment is called “Dave’s 2nd draft”, not only does it look sloppy, but it could also make it difficult for them to search for your CV, once they have saved it to their system.