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What can you do in 20 seconds?

Updated: Jul 28, 2023


cv 20 seconds

You may not be able to think of much, but everyday we make quick judgments in even shorter spans of time. Is it safe to cross the street Is the stove hot? Is the weather good? All of these questions are ones we ask ourselves regularly, without even noticing it; they are important in ensuring that we make good choices on a dime.


It’s the same with CVs and résumés. Twenty seconds is all it takes to skim a CV, and to determine if it is well written, formatted and worth further consideration. It takes skill and experience to highlight a person’s skills, talents and qualifications in three pages or less. As a résumé specialist, I’ve worked with hundreds of job seekers who, while being the perfect candidate for the job, weren’t necessarily the perfect applicant on paper because people often forget that they have very little time to impress a recruiter. No more than 20 seconds in fact. About as much time as it took you to read up until this point.


Tick tock … 20 seconds on the clock!

When it comes to recruitment, time is not on your side! As I’ve mentioned before, recruiters and potential employers will spend a maximum of 20 seconds looking at your CV, scanning it quickly to eliminate applicants who don’t meet their requirements and identify those who are worth interviewing.


A recruiter sifting through hundreds of CVs gives you only one brief chance to catch their attention. You want your CV to be easy to skim read – I can guarantee that most recruiters will not go searching for the information they need; it needs to be right in front of them, or they will just move on to the next applicant.


Would your CV stand out in 20 seconds? It’s not easy, which is why I do what I do – give people the best possible chance at success in 20 seconds. Get in touch today if you need a CV that stands out – just in time for you to get your dream job.

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