Why the first page of your CV is the most important

Published: 21 Dec 2019

Why the first page of your CV is the most important

With most recruiter’s skim reading a CV in less than 30 seconds, you need to think carefully about how you order the information. Ideally, give yourself a 2-page format to work from as this will serve as a good basis for what to put where and the material that can be edited out. Most attention is given to the first page of a CV. So, make sure you get all the really important information on your front page. 

Position yourself to your target job title in the first line of the CV

You have got to get the audience to engage with your CV quickly. This is why a professional profile at the beginning helps. You should position yourself using the job title you are targeting in the first line. Bold the job title too to help it stand out. This means the reader can quickly ascertain the relevance of your CV as you have aligned it to what they are looking for.

Keep the profile short

Keep the profile to no more than four or five lines. Make sure you say something original and memorable about the personal qualities that define what makes you great at your job. Do not fall back on classic recruitment clichés such as ‘dynamic’ or has ‘excellent communication skills’. Who thinks they don’t have excellent communication skills? Say something different.

And after the profile…

The next section will be dependent on a variety of factors. For instance, if you are a fresh graduate with little or no relevant work experience you might opt to put your education section next and detail the modules, presentations and projects carried out as part of your degree. If you are transitioning your career into something new you might have an extended key skills section demonstrating transferable skills. 

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