New Zealand CV requirements are constantly evolving and recruiters are becoming more and more demanding about what they expect to see. Recruiters like nothing more than having everything that is important to them to drop magically in front of them when opening your CV document. So, what do they want to see and how can job hunters ‘play the game’ and help the recruiters to get an ideal first impression and stand out from the rest of the applicants.
The two things that will put off a recruiter the most are a very clear lack of professionalism and a CV that is way too detailed ie eight pages of small print that seems to go for ever.
In NZ, in 2023, 2023 and beyond there is a very real expectation that your CV be three pages at an absolute maximum and if possible two pages is perfect. We see many CV’s and at least half will be four pages or more. If a recruiter was receiving that size document that would immediately be concerned why the applicant is not able to more clearly and concisely articulate their skills and background. Much more than four pages and your CV may not even get read, that is the reality.
Remember, that often the recruiter will be receiving 100 or more applications so of course they will always be selective in what they choose to read. So, two pages of very clear and well-prepared content is going to be very attractive amongst the 100+ CV’s half of which will be way to detailed to deliver a good first impression.
The other immediate concern recruiters have is in terms of professionalism, and in particular the first impression. They say you only get only chance to impress and it is never truer than when talking about CV. If it does not catch the recruiters eye straightway then you can have a big problem trying to get an interview ahead of the other 100 applicants.
We suggested before that over half of CV’s are too long, well you can add at least another half of CV’s that will be received by recruiters that will not provide any sort of good first impressions. Most CV’s are very basic in appearance with very little to differentiate them from the next CV. Many are standard MS Word docs with simple font (and worse still) poor or inconsistent formatting.
And there is another very big issue that causes grief. They start reading your CV and within the first paragraph they have already found two spelling or grammatical errors. Recruiters are very unforgiving when it comes to such errors, we often hear that a couple of obvious errors on page one of your CV will see your application dismissed without any sort of further consideration. And, don’t expect to ever hear from them again.
So, to immediately jump to the top of the pile of applications we suggest you stick to three pages (or two if you can do so clearly and fully), make sure your CV is professional and visually attractive so the first impression is very favourable and importantly double check for spelling or grammatical errors.