After Christmas I received an email from one of my old clients. He wanted my opinion about the formatting and lay out of a CV. He happily thought that the CV contained useful features. When I looked at the CV on my mobile phone I was appalled, I couldn´t believe that a senior professional was sending that type of CV. I thought that it was a great example of what not to do on a CV. However, as I have been seen lately some people recommending certain features-that recruiters are not keen of- I would like to share some insights.
As Adrienne Tom shares at Careerimpressions.ca: “The resume is about you but need to address the employer’s needs”. Also I highlight to my students/clients the importance of making sure they are writing for the audience they are targeting.
You might be in love with your CV, because at your eyes is great, but as Adrienne says your resume needs to take in consideration the employer and the recruiter needs. Put yourself in her/his shoes.
I am going to focus on some tips you need to follow when customizing your CV or Resume to be mobile-phone friendly.
1. The first step is to make it readable on mobile phones, as a great number of recruiters are using the device to check CV´s on the go. Donna Svei carried out a survey on that matter and 88% of recruiters said yes. It might not apply to all the countries but is likely that employers and recruiters are doing the same in Spain or in other geographical locations.
2. Check your CV on the mobile device, is it easy to read? The CV sent by this senior professional had 2 columns, coloured background, coloured fonts and shading and several flags and computer system icons… As Donna Svei explains in her LinkedIn post there are specific reasons why it doesn´t work. You can read the full story on her post. The reality was that readability of that CV was really low, my eyes were lost with the 2 columns and the colours and I dropped it after a few seconds-.
3. Simplicity is crucial, avoiding complex visual elements will help the recruiters to scan your CV in 6 seconds and to find out quickly if you are a good match for the role. If they normally use up to 6 seconds on that scanning and they can´t understand anything you have lower chances they pick up your CV from the pile.
4. Quantify accomplishments and use bullet points, bear in mind they are reading on a small screen so don´t use small font (don´t go smaller than size 11 or 12).
5. Short sentences that go straight to the point are wonderful, if you tend to write long paragraphs, with a lot articles and connectors, think twice. Send it to yourself in a pdf format and re-read it or send it someone else that can give you a second opinion.
To sum up take in consideration these 4 tips: high contrast avoiding shading backgrounds, use fonts that are not difficult to read (Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Sans Serif etc), don´t use multiple columns, be careful with the block of texts as they shouldn´t be exceeding 4 lines and leave space in between.
It´s true that some countries are keen on a 2-column layout, as I have seen most French students are required to apply in a maximum of 1 page CV. So that´s fine, I mean wherever you go do as you see. However, do take in consideration the digital changes we are experiencing and how recruiters are reading your CV´s.
Are you applying via corporate website with an ATS system? Are you engaging with independent or agency recruiters? Are you passing on a resume on paper?
Whatever you do, think about your audience and their needs not only your tastes and preferences.
Information extracted from:
- The Muse How to guarantee your resume shows up correctly on mobile phones
- Workology The rise of the mobile resume
- Donna Svei on LinkedIn Pulse Why your fancy resume is totally 2015