Recruiters on CVs

We asked Executive Search Consultants how important the quality of the CVs for them is. Below, you will find some of their answers:

Mark Hamill, Global Managing Directors, SpenglerFox, “The quality of a CV is pretty important. A poorly prepared CV raises question marks. As to the length, we are in a world of information overload. Better short than long. A powerful 1-pager.”

Beata Bukowska, Partner, Inwenta, “All documents that are submitted to a potential employer are the candidate’s business card, irrespectively of the position they apply to. The quality therefore is very important.”

Katarzyna Grzybowska-Tomaszek, Managing Director, Human 2 Business, “The quality of a CV is very important for me. It should tell me about the candidate’s business awareness, their successes. It should be synthetic and concrete. If, let’s say, a PR or Marketing Director sends me an untidy, incoherent CV, they are automatically out of the process.”

Andrzej Kensbok, Principal, Kienbaum, “It’s nice to receive a nice CV. Though most importantly, we look for the right human being with an appropriate competences and not somebody who is a professional CV writer.”

Ewa Adamczyk, Chief Executive Officer & Head of Banking, Finance & Legal Services, NAJ International, “The quality of CVs is getting better. The font, grammar, spelling, tabs are important elements, but not everybody has to be an expert in formatting. When writing a CV, the candidate should remember who they write it for. Who will read it? Candidates should remember that the headhunter usually cannot dedicate more than three minutes to each document. [ … ] The approach “I am a star. Everybody knows me on the market. Guess what I meant with that sentence!” is arrogant and very negative.”

Albina Woźniak-Fyda, Partner, Nelson Lamartine, “When preparing the CV, remember that a junior researcher with little experience might be the first person to read it which might mean that because there is too much lingo or it’s too dry, they will not be able to understand it and you are excluded from the recruitment process.”

Sylwia Rzemieniewska, Managing Director, Target Executive Search, “The quality of submitted documents is very important, but it’s not the most important thing. The most important element is the interview. Top Executives often do not have the time to prepare their material. You cannot base your opinion on a document, especially if it’s the headhunter who is approaching the executive. More important are the telephone conversation and the in-person 16 meeting.”

Kalina Karwańska, CEO & Managing Partner, HR Solutions, “The quality is very important because we have very little time. We always tell our candidates that they are not allowed to assume that a potential employer will correctly guess which part of a four-page CV is the most important one. I often read verbose CVs; they are superfluous with nonrelevant information: they start with the high school and so on. The person behind such a document is either not very creative or lazy and decided to send such a representation of themselves onto the market. I don’t treat such CVs seriously.”

Piotr Kępka, Senior Consultant, Hubert Mozes & Partners, “The more sloppy the CV, the sloppier the candidate. We look at aesthetics, the lack of mistakes. It should be saved in a .pdf format. Remember that a researcher is often not able to read between the line. The CV is the virtual dress code of the candidate. How seriously do you treat your career?”

Magdalena Bucka, Managing Director Europe, Edison Morgan, “It is obviously easier for the recruiter, if the CV is of good quality. It allows a candidate to makes a better first impression. However, if headhunted directly, it’s the recruiter’s interest to motivated the candidate and then documents become of less importance as everything is verified and confirmed during the interview.”

Jerzy Potocki, CEO & Managing Partner, AIMS International Poland, “The quality is very important. The documents must not have errors and spelling mistakes. […] It should be written in a way that I can match the candidate with an on-going recruitment project in 20 seconds or less.”

Corinne Klajda, Senior Partner & Head of the Consumer Goods & Retail Practice Group, Accord ECE, “The CV is very (!) important. It could define whether I want to speak with this candidate or not. Some executive search consultants see on average 8 candidates per day. It is more difficult to remember candidates with “blend CVs”. Your CV is like your passport as it grants you better chances to get a meeting with an executive recruiter.”

As you can see the quality of CVs is important for most Executive Search Consultants that we interviewed. Some of them think that it is very, very important and reflects on you whereas others claim that maybe it is not the most important thing, but definitely it helps you make a good first impression. How is the quality of your CV?