Top tips for CV shortlisting

With an increasing number of applications per job posted, having a clear strategy for identifying standout CVs from the sea of applications is vital in saving precious time in getting the best candidates to your client.

Regardless of the level and sector and you hire, our top tips for what to look out for – and be aware of – is a must read.


Support for professional skills: Quality candidates will be able to demonstrate how they have made an impact on a company through their claimed skills and professional traits. For example, it’s easy to claim to be a great marketing professional, but proof through the inclusion of analytical results, engagement figures and revenue figures, adds weight to claims. Look out for these, and make sure to follow up on proof when speaking to candidates during your selection process.

Training and CPD: Candidates who have participated CPD through formal or in-house training show a commitment to developing the skills and abilities relevant to their industry. Training shows the willing to go above and beyond what is expected, and is many cases will place them above candidates with no evidence of training on their CV.

Promotions and experience: When hiring for managerial positions evidence of steady and consistent promotions are a good indicator that a candidate can sustain enhanced job responsibilities. If explicit promotions aren’t mentioned, look for evidence of relevant experience and increased responsibility during a candidate’s career, as this will show their desire to develop their professional seniority.

Awards: Winning or being nominated for a professional award seldom happens to under-performing individuals. Even if the candidate didn’t win the award, being nominated shows they are highly regarded for their professional skill.

The ‘career change’ challenge: Transferable skills are key here. With more people changing industry, candidates who explicitly refer to their relevant transferable skills are more likely to be favourably viewed by clients. When reading a ‘career changer’ CV, look out for evidence of how they believe their skills and insight will be beneficial to a new industry, as this shows they have thoroughly thought through their career move.

Know your clients business and culture: It may seem obvious, but simply having a good understanding of your client’s business, working environment and culture will make CV selection easier. Cultural fit is important to both clients and candidates, so get to know what this looks like before shortlisting to save time approaching unsuitable candidates.

IRP Professional Guides
Get more professional advice with the IRP’s Professional Guides. Covering everything from deciphering candidate qualifications and demonstrating your legal knowledge, they’re a source of information you can’t afford to ignore.


One thought on “Top tips for CV shortlisting

  1. How about those fully customised showcase CVs that come along from time to time.

    We had an IT applicant recently whose CV looked very much like the first page of Google search results.

    Seems quite common in creative circles, but does it ever have a place for more regular positions?

    I also recieved an application from someone once that had 6 thumbnail images at the top of their letter of introduction. I’ll never forget it. It was an eye, a log, two cartoon hearts, a ‘men at work’ digging street sign and 4 sheep stacked on top of each other.

    After many, many hours, we finally deciphered the message;
    ‘I would love to work for you’

    Eye – Wood – Love 2 – Work – 4 Ewe

    We gave the guy an interview, he was awful…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s