So, let me get this straight, you’ve been sending your resume to a whole bunch of people and either don’t hear back, or get instantly rejected.

Well fear not, here are 5 quick and easy things you can do that could make a big difference to your job search.

Your CV was not attached

Oh, my word. Recruiters get so many applications every day – especially for non-specialist roles. Make sure your resume is attached to your email. If it isn’t, I guarantee that 90% of recruiters will either ignore or reject you based solely on that. They will not use their time to remind someone they know nothing about, that they didn’t complete the task. We all make mistakes though, we’re only human – so if you did accidentally hit ‘send’ and didn’t attach, simply send a follow up with a ‘sorry, here is my CV’. Simple!

What do you want/what job is this for?

There is no explanation as to the role(s) you’re applying for, no summary about you and/or the jobs you’ve had are so diverse we don’t know exactly what it is you’re looking for. A good recruiter will see the potential in your career history and give you a call to ask. But they don’t have a crystal ball and are in a high-pressure job with limited time. Ultimately their purpose is to fill roles for paying clients, not find you your dream job. They’d love to do both but give them a bit of help, tell them what role you’re applying for or what you’re looking for.

The layout is a shocker and its littered with typos

Unless you are aiming for a creative role, in the creative industries – keep it simple. We do not need to see your ClipArt design skills and choosing the prettiest font will not win you any bonus points. I can’t stress this enough.


Simple font – Calibri, Arial etc.

Tidy paragraphs – Break them up and keep them short and to the point. Don’t use fluffy words to pad out, we’re not testing your abilities as a thesaurus

Bold headers only – Stop using every formatting option possible, it makes for hard reading at speed

Plain bullet points – See above re ClipArt, just make them circles, or dashes

No colours – They’ll never reach our clients so save us the trouble and keep it black

USE SPELL CHECK! There is no excuse for blatant spelling or grammatical errors these days. I’d sooner see you use simple language spelt correctly, and have you woo me with your vocabulary at interview than be self-correcting your spelling while I’m screening. It’s also ironic to see when you’re telling us how good your attention to detail or work accuracy is.

It sounds generic and like it came from a Google search

Don’t copy someone else’s resume. It will not sound genuine, and it won’t make you stand out. You don’t want to use someone else’s character when you’re fighting hard for that new role. By all means start with that as a skeleton but find your own voice. Your summary, which is usually at the top and the first thing we see, is your chance to stand out – USE IT. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear – we’ve never met. Charm us as though it was a professional romance, let your personality show. Cultural fit is so important these days – that means people are buying ALL of you, not just the black and white bullet points.

Don’t send it as a PDF

This one is a mixed bag. Some recruiters like it, some industries prefer PDF over Word. However, for entry – mid level roles, it’s easier in Word. I know people think us lot just send your CV over and the interview happens, but it doesn’t. Let me tell you a secret.

We’ll put your resume into what we call a ‘profile’. It’s like a little snapshot of you, made by us. It will have a summary – just like yours but written by us to sell you to our client, to clarify exactly why they need to speak to you about this role.

We edit the format of pretty much every resume we get so they all look the same – so the client doesn’t have the same headache we do ploughing through Comic Sans PDFs with everything underlined in pink. It’s easier for you, you only need one version, and you can edit it in a second. And, it’s much more straight forward for us to add in your details. Easy peasy!

*** Bonus Tip *** – You don’t put full stops after bullet points

I hope this goes some way towards guiding you down a slightly more productive path. We want to see people succeed, and we’re happy to help when we can.

If you’re in Auckland feeling frustrated with your job search or you hate your CV but don’t know what to do about it, send it across and we’ll have a look. Please know we will not do it for you, this is your thing. But we’re here to help!