CV Writing Skills – Focus on the F Words – You have 6 seconds to impress!

CV Writing is a real headache, but a necessary one..

Writing a new CV can be a daunting experience at the best of times, it can be a real headache, especially for an older worker – I mean where do you start? Maybe you haven’t written a CV for years and now have 20+ years of working history to summarize onto 2 sides of A4 paper!

So what do you do?

Well, Greydient has some tips here to help you and we also offer Free CV Clinics for older workers.

We’re here to help.

And the team at Greydient are always learning too, and constantly looking at new ways to make your CV writing life easier and more successful. That’s why when we were referred to this fascinating  study we just had to share it with you.

The research that kept an eye on recruiter behaviour

In particular the research sheds light on how much time a recruiter will spend reviewing a submitted CV and more importantly what areas of that CV they will focus their time on.  And drum roll please… According to this research, recruiters spend an average of only “six seconds before they make the initial ‘fit or no fit’ decision” on candidates.

6 seconds!?!



The study used a scientific technique called “eye tracking” on 30 professional recruiters and examined their eye movements during a 10-week period to “record and analyze where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information or completing a task.”

And the research shows…

In that short amount of time; 6 seconds,  that hiring managers will spend on your CV, they will actively seek out the following;

  1. Your name
  2. Your current title and company
  3. Your current position start dates; and if applicable, end date
  4. Your previous title and company
  5. Your previous position start and end dates
  6. Your education

The fact that you are highly sociable, love reading and completed the Bath Half Marathon last year is irrelevant. Beyond these six data points noted above, recruiters did little more than scan for keywords to match the open position. Thus if you are applying for a Sales position, they would look for the keyword; sales.

All about the F Words…

Further, and what the research noted was that when you placed a “heat map” over the 6 data points, in the majority of cases the heat maps produces the broad outline of an F.

So people start top left, go across the page, then down the left-hand side of the document. Then they look across the middle of the page thus forming an F shape.

Take a look at the picture below. (with thanks to Matt Cheevers for allowing us to use this ..)



Insights into ACTION…

A CV can take forever to put together and yet seemingly only has 6 seconds to make an impact, so just ensure that the 6 data points listed above are clear and prominent and that your F Word coverage is second to none. Got it ? Great.

If you do need help shout if you have any questions on this article or require any other advice on writing that painful CV..

We’re here to help..

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