Thursday, 28 April 2016

8 seconds!

Had a very interesting meeting today about the future of CV Uk Writer Ltd, gave me lots to think about, one of the bigger talking points was the 8 second rule. 
When a hiring manager looks at your Cv, they will take about 8 seconds to make up their minds as to whether you are in or out based on what they read (or scan in reality). 
Think about it, you may be looking to prove yourself in your first job or you may have 30 years experience, regardless, 8 seconds isn't great if you're trying to get your foot in the door, I mean what can you legitimately do well in 8 seconds......
Down a small glass of water
Scratch your itchy nose
Put on a pair of socks
Turn your car on and put your seatbelt on
Sing the opening line of your favourite song

You can see that 8 seconds isn't a long time to change the world, I'm being glib but my point is that not much can be done in 8 seconds that is significant so when someone is reading your cv for the first time, if all you've got is 8 seconds, you'd better make sure it's the very best it can be! 
So how can you do that? Obviously you could leave it to the experts (us) but some tweaks you can make; 
*Make sure your formatting is clear and regular
*Keep to one font, no italics
*Keep your education short and bulleted (you don't need to list all of your cse's from 1972) 
*Keep your personal statement clear, concise and no more than 4 lines MAX
*Make your latest job title clear
*Get your current job highlights at the top of the list, make sure you put your greatest responsibilities and achievements right at the top of your current job history, that's the one hiring mangers will be interested in so make sure you're blowing your own trumpet.

Personal statements can be tricky to write (it's a whole other post) but drafting a few versions can help you pin point what you want to say, steer clear of repetition and of using too many adjectives. 

8 seconds is not long, don't be fooled into thinking the job you're applying to doesn't fall into this bracket, the likelihood is that it will, competition is still high as I'm always saying so make your 8 seconds count and ensure your CV headlines pop!

Further reading:

Citing original study:

Updated article;

Older article which talks about a 6 second rule!!