CV Formatting: How To Get Your CV Noticed

By Lauren Edwards & Kevin McGrath

CV Formatting is often overlooked but it’s a key part of ensuring your CV makes it through the recruitment process and is noticed by the hiring manager or recruiter.

This is especially important as more and more companies make use of applicant tracking systems (ATS). An ATS is a software application that allows companies to handle their recruitment electronically. The ATS can store, filter and shortlist candidate data based on given criteria such as skills, experience or education. In many cases, once you apply for a role your CV goes straight into an ATS and might not even be seen by a person!

Although the actual number of companies who use this software to handle their hiring needs isn’t known, it’s estimated that almost 60% of all companies and a nearly 100% of the Fortune 500 companies make use of an Applicant Tracking System. This means that if you’re actively applying for roles, it’s very likely your CV has been through one or multiple applicant tracking systems. 

So how can you ensure your CV stands out?

In this episode of NES Chat, Kevin McGrath from our IT team debunks some applicant tracking system myths and our very own Lauren Edwards, whose background is graphic design, explains how you can use formatting to convey creativity whilst still ensuring your data stands out in an ATS. We also provide you with some quick tips to ensure your CV looks the best it can be and remains professional.

We talked about:

  • How have resumes changed over the years?
  • Where is the line between a creative CV and professionalism?
  • How much personality should a candidate show in their CV?
  • How do applicant tracking systems work and how does this impact creativity?
  • What common misconceptions do candidates often have about applicant tracking systems?
  • How can candidates include creativity in their CV but also ensure their data is correctly pulled through by the ATS?
  • And more

They also shared personal experiences and practical tips for success. 

Listen to this episode of NES Chat 

Did you enjoy this? Listen and subscribe to NES Chat on SoundCloud or find us on iTunes! Want more candidate advice? Read our tips for starting a new job and managing your resignation.