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Is your CV up to scratch? Get advice from Spinnaker Global

Is your CV doing you justice?

We hear it all the time: attention span is short.

Hopefully I can keep your attention to the end – the conclusion will be worth it.

Smartphones, social media, too much information from too many sources, the kids of today… any reason is the cause.

Research into recruitment consultancies and employers show that the attention given to a CV is not that long either.  One study is more generous at 30 seconds, others not so at 5 seconds.

“Who cares?” you shout, “Recruiters will be replaced by artificial intelligence anyway.”

No, they won’t.  But that’s a conversation for another day. 

Until the point where recruitment is overtaken by machines here’s an insight how to avoid the 5 second treatment and land the job you want.

  1. How does it look?

Your first (visual) impression begins with your CV, not at the interview.  If this looks bad what else does?

Think of your audience.  For a quirky, start-up / marketing design company, go to town – be out there.  

For professional sales role: no.

Also step away from the multiple text boxes, page borders, excessive highlighting, CAPS LOCK or any other form or document formatting hell!

If it looks awful to begin with it won’t be read.

Many employers also have their own software – once in their system it makes your CV look even worse.

  1. How long is it?

I don’t want to be reading Ulysses, nor my son’s bedtime story. 

Lots of CVs don’t get read fully.  Why? They’re too long and boring or they are so short they add no value other than a job title.

Is that vital point that you think will get you the job on paragraph 4? Forget it!

Read it out loud to someone.  Do they get bored? Do you get bored?

  1. How cliché is it?

Hard-working, enthusiastic, team-player, ambitious…#sowhat.

Put that in the pile with the other fifty.

Grab my attention.  Include a short, objective, factual summary at the very beginning. 

Expand on the summary in each position.  Don’t just tell me what you did.  Tell me how good you are at it.

Oh and finally…

You’ve done the hard work, your CV has been read, you’ve sold yourself well on paper.  I’m going to give you a call.

You think this would be obvious, but you’d be surprised and #GDPR isn’t an excuse.

CONTACT DETAILS – telephone number, e-mail address.


The great thing about being a consultant is you’re here to give advice.  People will agree, disagree, love it or hate it.

Spinnaker Global haven’t been placing people in the maritime industry for over 20 years around the world without giving the right advice…right?

Want to stand make yourself stand out even more?  Give me a call, then we’ll talk about your background.  Then you can send me your CV, no matter how bad it is, and I’ll get you seen by my Sales and Marketing clients.

Remember the point about Artificial Intelligence and the machines?  Can they do that?


For more CV advice check out our website:

David Tubb, Director, Recruitment, Spinnaker Global

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