We asked experts – tips from 20 top Hiring Managers.

WATC asked 21 leading Hiring Managers from different sectors within the City to provide their views on CVs, interviews and a list of those all important do’s and dont’s to help you land that job.

What do you look for when skimming a CV?

  • Achievements, relevant skills for the position, personal interests.
  • Punchy straight to the point information highlighting skills achievements & responsibilities.
  • Clarity of CV structure and presentation.
  • Obvious gaps and short periods of employment.

Pet hates on a CV?

  • Boxes, small font size, badges.
  • Spelling mistakes, terrible formatting, boxes, lack of structure.
  • Social pursuits unless very relevant to position, war and peace on every project ever worked on.
  • Long sentences that immediately send you to sleep.
  • The use of inconsistent fonts and too much information on personal pursuits.
  • Obvious elaborations of the truth.

Pet hates at interviews?

  • Lateness, poor presentation and contradictions against the CV.
  • People who know nothing about your organisation, unprepared with no questions.
  • Scruffy people, people who can’t articulate real life examples of what they have done but provide text book quotations instead.
  • Fidgeting, not concentrating or listening and slouching.
  • Mobile phones not being switched off.
  • The lifestory about your journey to the interview.

What do you feel are key indicators of an ill prepared candidate?

  • Lack of background on the role they are interviewing for Inability to walk through job history.
  • Failure to listen and answer the questions asked.
  • Do not know the company or just refer to the website they saw the night before.
  • Not having done any research into the organisation they are going to, have no questions, appear distracted, talk about how bad the last company they worked for was.

What wisdom could you offer our members in order to stand out from the crowd?
Tailor your CV per job application, do not assume that your one version will get an interview with every company.

Keep the CV clear and punchy focus on what you will bring your employer in your field of expertise.

At the interview answer the questions asked not those you want to. If you have relevant experience that is not being questioned summarise it at the end as a “what I think I can bring to the role” closing statement.

Layout the CV with a standard font and readable typeface Bullets and short paragraphs only.

Pick your agency wisely and know where they are sending your details in advance.

Research a little about the role or company, use your contacts and networks, don’t just repeat what you have read on the web.

Go with a really good attitude, be really enthusiastic about the opportunity, ask the person interviewing who their ideal person would be for the role. Listen. Smile and most importantly offer a firm handshake.

Be smart, be early, be honest and give real life examples, write a list of questions that you want to ask and don’t be afraid to reference them at the end, if you have more than 2 left save them for next time.

Understand the company, ask questions around the company vision and be enthusiastic. Do not ask questions for questions sake. If you do not have any explain why. Also ask the hiring manager how they had come into that role. A bit of flattery and massaging of ego’s always helps.

Our Hiring Manager’s survey revealed

You are likely to be 1 of 10 CVs on the table
Of the Hiring Managers interviewed, 57% review 6-10 CVs per vacancy, 29% of hiring managers will review no more than 5.

Your CV down should be 2-3 pages maximum
Of the Hiring Managers interviewed, 95% believed a CV should be 2-3 pages maximum, with the front page being a summary.

Your CV relevant and to the point. Do not expect anyone to want to read War and Peace
100% of hiring managers take a maximum of 10 minutes to review a CV.

If your CV does make the review stage you could have a 50% chance of it making to interview stage.
57% of managers will proceed with a maximum of 4 candidates to interview stage.

Be early to an interview , however if you are very early ask the receptionist to not call the hiring manager until 10-15 minutes before the interview time.
57% of hiring managers say that 10 minutes is the acceptable length for turning up for an interview in readiness with 29% stating 15 minutes is the acceptable length.

The process for hire is not always a foregone conclusion. Be prepared to attend at least 2 interviews. A 3rd HR interview appears to becoming market standard.
71% of Hiring Managers will conduct 3 interviews.
With 14% taking 1 interview and 14% adopting a 2 interview process.

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