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Effective CV Reviewing

Based on my many years’ experience reviewing CVs I wanted to pass on some advice to any hiring managers faced with a pile of CVs to review.

Timing is everything. I recommend reviewing CVs in small batches of 1-5 as soon as possible after application. Don’t wait until you have 50 to wade through, not much fun for you and the candidates will have probably already moved on!

Be Methodical. It can be all too easy to fall in to the trap of flicking your eye over a CV, looking at the same sections you always look at and immediately making a decision. Have a list of the key skills, qualifications and experience you require. Some people like to score CVs to give them an easy way to compare. I also really recommend spending some time with a fellow hiring manager and understanding how they review CVs and if there is anything you could be doing differently.

Ask questions. Sometimes you may review a CV and have questions or feel ‘on the fence’ about whether to progress the application.  Pick up the phone! I would always rather have a quick conversation to answer any questions than miss out on a potential candidate. If something isn’t clear on that candidate’s CV then feedback will help them moving forwards.

Review the Brief. Hopefully you will have sourced your CVs via a reputable recruitment consultancy, however, if every application you have received isn’t meeting the mark, you may need to amend your job brief or advertisement. Have you made it clear what are the essential skills and experience required? Is it attractive to potential applicants? Have you sourced candidates from the right place to reach your desired target audience?


Written by Nicola Hedges, Lead Senior Recruitment Consultant

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