Surviving the Short Listing Process

We look at what job hunters can do to help their applications survive the short listing process

Your CV

You’re curriculum vitae (CV), is a sales brochure that tells a prospective employer that they should invite you to an interview.

The reality is that most recruiters sift negatively, looking for applications that are clearly unsuitable.

This means that your CV has to attract a positive reaction very quickly.

With increasing use of on-line and email applications this first sift may be done by a computer.

So your CV needs to include the key words used in the advertisement.

If you can’t include these, you shouldn’t be applying!

Read the advert

The sifting process is all about proving that you match the requirements of the job.

Yet many applicants do not read beyond the job title and salary before they fire off a CV.

Look for matches between the words used in the advertisement and the words you use in your CV.

Then compare the advertisement against your career goals.

Research the company

You will need to find out more about the company.

Consultants rarely identify their clients.

But you can tell them who you don’t want to work for and about the environment you thrive in.

It is in their best interests to help you decide whether or not you want to apply.

Even if you don’t apply you may be ideal for a future position.

If they won’t help you, they may not know their client that well, so it may be best not to apply

Customise your CV to the position

Recruiters can spot a standard CV at sixty paces, or less, so don’t bother.

Use a standard CV as a template that you specialise for each application you make.

Make sure that the details you emphasis match the details in the advertisement.

Put everything that is relevant to the position on the front page of your CV.

First assessment

Remember that the first assessment of your CV will last only a few seconds.

A mass of writing will attract a negative response.

White space around evidence that you have the skills knowledge and experience required to successfully fulfill the role will help to create a positive reaction.


Abeceder is a human resources management consultancy unlike any other.

Abeceder offers clients a comprehensive range of human resources management solutions that are designed to meet the needs of any business challenge and fit any budget.

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