3. Deciding on the running order for your CV

The running order for a CV is not always an easy decision. In many industries just now there seems to be a kind of paranoia that says: “if I don’t put my work record on the front page, tucked up tight under my name, people will think I’m not a serious candidate.”

You need to be happy with the running order inside yourself, but just for a second, take a step back and think about what happens when a hiring manager does a paper sift to decide who to interview. Think about the criteria they will choose to do that. As managers, we would be thinking about whether this candidate understands and is passionate about the key elements and objectives of the job. Whether they’re telling us that they want to really contribute to the company. Whether they will fit with the rest of the team. Whether we, personally, think we can work with them.

Typically, in a paper sift, a manager will read the front sheet of a CV and the first bit of the next page. Whatever you are going to put in those two places will either get you the interview… or not.

So, think very carefully about what will make the most impact. You may wish to start the work record at the top of a page, not half-way down. Otherwise, if the manager flicks over to page 2 and reads from the top, he or she will be reading two or three jobs back… and that’s not where you want him or her to focus.

Consider putting all your personal information on the front page, and starting the employment record on the second page, with a large, 14 point bold heading, thus removing all confusion.