5 Ways To Narrow Down CV Submissions

When hiring new staff, the first big step towards finding the right candidate is to sift through the newly submitted CVs that make it to you through the application process. Not all businesses may choose to take CV submissions as their primary recruitment method, but there are benefits to doing this rather than having an application form to fill out.

Reviewing a CV gives you the chance to see just what your potential candidates think of themselves and what they can offer your business. A CV is a personal display of who the candidate is, and finding the right ways to narrow down your CV submissions can be crucial to the recruitment process and finding ‘the one’. So, just how do you get started in this often lengthy process?

1.     Review Their Skills

Above all, your business will want to hire somebody with the relevant skills required for the job. Positions that have full training available may not need to pay much more attention to this step, but if you were hiring for secretarial jobs in Manchester, for example, you would be looking for somebody who has excellent skills in using Microsoft packages, is punctual, and has good reading and writing skills.

Understanding the required skills for the job is something candidates need to prove they can do. If they are unable to competently show you that they have the base skills required for a professional position, they may not be the perfect candidate for you.

2.     Check Spelling and Punctuation


Most candidates will take time to review their CV before submitting it to a job. A CV that is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors could be a potential sign for concern, especially for office jobs and underwriter jobs in Leeds and other large cities. A candidate who can miss blatant spelling errors could potentially miss other problems. Frequent mistakes can also be a sign of laziness. If literacy is a key strength required, consider checking for spelling and grammar throughout your CVs.

3.     Impressive Cover Letters

The CV can tell you a lot about the skills and qualifications of your candidate, but sometimes it may not be enough to truly judge the character of a candidate. Requesting a cover letter for the CV can be a great way to get to know your candidates before they have walked through the doors for an interview. The right candidate will be able to show you just how they will fit in with the rest of your working team and display the levels of kind professionalism you would expect from your current employees.

A good cover letter could make up for a lack of experience or skills in some areas. Depending on what your business is looking for, it could even be the cover letter that decides if the candidate is good enough for the job or not. It is their chance to prove to you that they will be a valuable asset to the working team, and weaker cover letters with a CV that does not quite suit the job requirements could be removed in favour of others.

4.     Relevant References


If a candidate expresses that they have previous job experience, they should have relevant references on hand for you to contact. A candidate who fails to offer any references and has short working periods in previous positions may not be as highly recommended as another candidate. All claims of experience and skills should be backed up by given references, but without a valid contact, this could certainly mean further narrowing down of your CV submissions. Choosing a candidate who is highly recommended by their references is often more preferable to any employer.

5.     Incorrect or Irrelevant Experience

Sometimes, candidates can submit a generic CV to multiple jobs. It is easy to tell which these are, as the CV contains a lot of irrelevant experience to the position you are advertising for. Instead, look for a candidate who is going to ensure their CV is tailored to your job position, filled with information that is relevant to your job and gives the impression of a candidate who cares deeply about showing you the best of themselves.

Looking out for inaccurate dates of employment, too, can benefit you as some people may have been from job to job and unable to settle – at times a worrying sign for employers looking to hire permanent staff members. Take into consideration education times, as some may have taken time from work to focus on studying and gain relevant experience.


Be mindful of each individual’s potential for the job. Many candidates are extremely interested in working for you, and there can be some small mistakes here and there that could be overlooked for the person with the right skills, attitude, and experience. If you require more assistance finding your perfect candidate, Search are available to help with offices across the country. So whether you are hiring for administration jobs in Crawley or call centre advisor jobs in Sheffield, considering taking a CV and keep these helpful tips in mind when narrowing down your choices.

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