Does your CV pass the 7-second test? According to a report by Deloitte, recruiters spend on average just seven seconds per candidate when it comes to reviewing their work experience. So, you only have a few seconds to demonstrate your skills on your CV and convince them to keep reading.
Do you want to learn how to present your skills on your CV to ‘pass the test’ and make it an effective job-hunting tool? Let us explain.
As explained in the above-mentioned Deloitte report, the key to a great CV doesn't lie in the chronological recounting of your career, but in highlighting experiences and skills. So, when it comes to devising a stand-out CV to apply for jobs, you must be clear about your own skills and what the company needs, which tends to be hard skills such as academic qualifications, mastery of tools and software, or languages.
However, more and more HR departments require candidates with other skills, specifically, certain so-called soft skills. Without going further afield, a study by Jobatus contends that 73% of companies already seek soft skills related to emotional intelligence, attitude and social skills. Likewise, according to the same study, the most in-demand soft skills today are self-management, communications and teamwork.
In spite of this, an analysis by Infojobs reveals that 86% of organisations consider hard skills to be more important than soft skills, although the latter are becoming more and more relevant and more decisive for roles that require teamwork. Hence the importance of reflecting these in your CV, although they may not be as immediately easy to demonstrate, as an academic qualification or language level.
Bear in mind, however, that mentioning too many skills on a CV may be counter-productive. Are you still unsure about which skills to highlight?
Let's take the example of a candidate who is a recent graduate and is entering the workforce without experience, no previous jobs to endorse their knowledge and no references from ex-managers or team leaders. In this case, certain soft skills such as camaraderie, adaptability, communications skills and creativity will prove key to presenting themself on their CV. They might even become the main focus of the entire document.
Conversely, if a person with years of experience is looking to change jobs to boost their career, they can better highlight their hard skills through their experience and knowledge of tools, processes and programs -although it's important not to overlook soft skills.
Once you’re sure about what to include, it's time to decide how to present the information. There are many ways to structure a CV and ensure it contains everything you want the company to know about you. Below are some areas you should keep in mind when formulating your CV:
Given the importance not only of the content but also the structure, as well as a clean, sharp and simple design, it's essential to be aware of a few tools that will help you to make the most of your skills on the CV:
Highlighting skills on a CV isn't just about writing them down, you also have to demonstrate them.
For example, do you stand out thanks to your creativity and ability to think outside the box, and you believe that's the key talent for the job? Include it on your CV and demonstrate as much. That's what Adam did when he finished university and decided to rent billboard space to look for work. The sign read "I spent my last £500 on this billboard. Please give me a job."
Raquel Gómez took a similar strategy. As an excellent negotiator with great stress management, she suggested playing scissors, paper, stone to get hired. Quite a statement of intent that was sure to have dragged the interviewers out of their comfort zone.
An active job search demands research, strategy and planning. It’s not just about knowing what the other party is looking for, but about conducting an introspective analysis and identifying what you can contribute as a candidate or future employee. However, there’s no denying that it isn’t easy to decide what skills to include on a CV, which mustn’t simply list them -it should also present and demonstrate them.
Enhancing your innate professional skills and improving those you lack through training will prove crucial if you are to increase your chances of realising your career goals. So that you can develop your professional skills, Banco Santander, as part of its contribution to society, is spearheading the Santander Scholarships, through which it offers the chance to train at the hand of prestigious institutions.
To achieve this aim, it focuses on retraining and continuing education, key concepts to accelerate your career growth through lifelong learning in progressive subjects such as technology, languages, studies, research, soft skills, practice and female leadership.
If you'd like access to a range of training programmes to give you a cutting edge on the job market, check out the Santander Scholarships website and develop the skills your CV needs to stand out and achieve your career goals. This is your chance!