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Guide to Analysing a CV


A CV gives you the first look at an applicant's skills and abilities.

There are many things on a CV that can tell you a lot about the candidate. The CV length, style, presentation and substance all come together to form a picture of the candidate.

The Presentation of the CV:

Important things to look for in a CV are the presentation and content. The presentation can be seen in the overall layout of the CV. First of all, a CV should look like the candidate has put a lot of time and effort into building it. The document should be on a high quality paper and neatly printed.

Look Professional:
The CV should look professional and uncluttered. Is there adequate spacing used in the CV? Are the sections neatly divided? How has formatting such as bullets, bold and italic font and indentation been used? You should be able to easily navigate the CV to pick out the important information without having to read through the whole paper.

The Content of the CV:
The content of the CV is the most significant part of it. Look for any typing mistakes. A typing mistake could immediately suggest carelessness on the part of the candidate on this very important document. A lot of CV’s will contain an objectives section on top of the CV. This section can easily let you see what the applicant's goals are. There may also be a 'summary' section to give you an overview of the rest of the CV. You can use these sections to see if your objectives match the applicants.

Still reading....

Still Reading…If you are still reading the CV, that is a good sign. The writer has kept your interest by highlighting his best skills. The top part of the CV should contain the most vital information, decreasing in importance as you read down.


The CV may contain an 'educational experience' section. Does the applicant meet or exceed your minimum requirement? Additionally, look for any honours or awards listed here.

Job Experience in the CV.

Job experience is the most important part of the CV for many employers. The most vital experience to look for would be job similar to the one you are offering. Look for the job duties completed in that previous jobs and see if they match your own. Also look for any major accomplishments at that job to see what the applicant can do for you. Details here are good, such as amount of cash handled or percentage of productivity increased.

Look for Action verbs!

Take a look at the action verbs. Supervised, organised, managed, for example can sound great if you are looking to fill a managerial position. It can tell you the skills of the applicant through what he or she has done in the past. It can display skills such as decision making, initiative, time and money management, etc.

Special skills:

A Candidate may also add special skills at the bottom of the CV. For example some people list multiple languages if they are fluent in them. If you need the additional skills, that can be a point in favor of that particular candidate.

The content of the CV should present skills and knowledge that the employee can put to use at his new job. Unnecessary information and rambling sentences can be a negative on a CV. The CV should be relevant to the job at hand and should contain short concise sentences

What about the overall impression of the CV?

The overall impression you get is very important. Does the CV stand out from the rest? Does the CV present a complete picture and impart information on the person's skills, abilities, and strengths? You should be able to locate the main keywords and skills at first glance. The layout should be well organized. You should not have to search the CV and try to figure out yourself what the applicant's objectives and career goals are.


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