What Do Recruiters Look For in a CV?


A recruiter reviewing your CV should look for an orderly flow, precise details, and evidence that each position you have held fits its respective role.

Recruiters look for evidence of progression; therefore, an extensive series of lateral moves won’t impress them. Furthermore, they want to see that your education relates directly to the position.


Many occupations require specific skills, and recruiters use this criterion as screening criteria when selecting candidates. Therefore, it’s wise to ensure your CV contains an inventory of these pertinent competencies to ensure its passage through the initial selection process.

Your skills should be presented in a separate ‘Skills’ section or integrated into your work experience and achievements section. Including them both allows for maximum relevance; using previous roles to demonstrate how these skills have been employed will also allow you to tailor your CV to specific jobs, highlighting those most relevant.

Recruiters want to understand how your skills have grown over time so they can assess whether you are suitable for their position or not. They will look at every company, job title, and responsibility throughout your career and note when each position was held; recruiters look for upward moves rather than sideways ones when considering candidates.

A recruiter will then review your education and skills to see if they match those required for the position they offer. They may look out for any gaps in employment and ensure your resume is professionally presented without spelling or grammar errors; to further ensure this, it might be worthwhile asking a friend or relative to review it before sending it off for consideration by recruiters.

Some recruiters also look for soft skills essential to the role, like honesty, work ethic, and teamwork capabilities that may not come through on CVs; these will likely be addressed during an interview.

Recruiters may consider your age when reviewing applications, which could become an issue if you’re older than the average applicant for the role. You can try to hide this by omitting your graduation date or creating a reverse chronological CV so that recent employment or educational details appear first, followed by previous roles and so forth – this way, recruiters won’t see that your age stands out so firmly and can read your resume more objectively.


Employers spend the majority of their time reviewing work experience and education when reviewing your CV; it will likely be their initial evaluation of you as a suitable candidate for a role. But how can you ensure yours stands out? Make it stand out so it lands in the coveted “yes” pile instead of ending up on their rejected pile.

One way of doing so is to clearly outline each job or role and its responsibilities while highlighting any major projects you worked on. Furthermore, it would be helpful if any quantifiable achievements such as sales targets met, campaign results achieved, or follower growth could also be listed as achievements.

Note that your work experience section must always be organized chronologically, with your most recent position appearing first. Also, be sure to provide details for every position held, such as company, duration of employment, and position held; this applies especially if you have had more than five roles; in such a situation, it would be wiser to limit this information to only for the most recent roles and use bullet point format when discussing earlier roles.

Reputable recruiters place great importance on your ability to demonstrate collaboration and team working skills, whether that means participating in successful campaigns or receiving awards for outstanding team performance. Also noteworthy: any notable changes you have introduced or led in previous jobs.

Education can also be integral for recruiters when selecting candidates, especially when the job requires specific qualification criteria. Ensure all your qualifications are listed, including their respective institutions/universities/degrees/specializations and any extracurricular activities or leadership roles where accolades have been bestowed upon you, such as sports, music, case studies/quizzes, or live projects.


Recruitment consultants will first examine the education section of your CV (or resume). They will look at your degrees, what companies you worked for, and how long each was employed. Finally, they will determine whether these experiences apply to the role you are applying for.

Employers appreciate a multidisciplinary candidate with multiple skills, but it’s best to tailor your skillset to the position you are applying for. In particular, be sure to highlight any significant accomplishments from throughout your career, such as projects completed or publications written – these will demonstrate that you possess considerable expertise within the field in which you operate and will demonstrate that you possess well-rounded experience in that particular industry.

Marking the date of your highest level of education clearly will allow recruiters to assess your educational history quickly. A timeline can easily demonstrate this; an excellent way is to include any additional details, such as extracurricular activities you participated in or any volunteering experiences you’ve had.

Recruitment agents utilizing scanning techniques will quickly scan CVs to assess whether they match their job posting, including looking at keywords they used to advertise the vacancy. When writing your CV, make sure it includes words or phrases relevant to the position you are applying for and your location, as this will allow recruiters to determine if you will likely be able to travel for them.

Presentation is critical to ensuring your CV gets noticed by recruiters; recruiters will take notice if your application is poorly presented or not formatted correctly, which gives the impression of disorganization and may dissuade them from reviewing your application. When writing your CV, ensure it follows a consistent format without distracting images or floral borders that might deter recruiters from considering your application.

Personal Statement

A practical CV summary allows you to provide recruiters with an efficient overview of your background, work experience, and critical skills. Since recruiters are often short on time, a concise CV summary helps them quickly assess your suitability for the role and company. As each job application differs significantly, tailor your summary for every position to show you have taken time to consider all requirements of each job you apply for.

An impressive personal statement will distinguish you from other candidates and is an invaluable addition to your application. Recruiters value people who are enthusiastic about what they do, so take this opportunity to demonstrate why you would make an excellent addition to their team and how your experiences have prepared you for this role. It is also an ideal space to highlight noteworthy achievements and outline career development over time.

Recruiters will also want to know where and what degree you studied at university. While some companies no longer require formal education, recruiters still expect evidence that you keep up with industry trends and learn new ones. Include certifications, credentials, mentorship, or internship experiences in your education section.

Gaps in employment no longer carry the same stigma they once did; however, recruiters will still ask why you left each position and whether your explanation stands up under a reference check. Be honest in your answers but avoid overemphasizing negative aspects (e.g., “left to address family health issues”).

Though it’s impossible to comprehend what recruiters want in a CV fully, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of cutting. Avoid adding too many design features that might distract the reader; ensure your resume is easily readable with your work history outlined chronologically, starting with your most recent job. Finally, remember that recruiters have strict deadlines, so an inferior CV may quickly disqualify you.