You MUST Beat the 7-Second Test

Seven seconds! I believe you have only seven seconds or even less to win over a prospective employer with your CV before it is put into the reject pile. Thousands of job seekers all wonder, “How can I make my resume stand out?”

If ever there was a good reason to keep your resume concise and easy to read, this is it. How can a concise version of your professional life pass the seven second test? How can anyone sell themselves in such a short period of time? Doesn’t it mean important information has to be left out? In a word: no.

Writing a concise CV is not that hard. The trick is in making it effective. Since employers have little time to spend contemplating your employment history, a brief and clear version is much preferred, and, therefore, much more effective.

I recommend you consider these three points when you sit down to write your CV.

Leave Out the Fluff

What exactly is fluff? Well, it is basically the least important, or even pointless, pieces of information.

For example, hobbies and personal interests are never high on anyone’s list of priorities besides yourself. Therefore, you should keep them very brief.

Be Inviting

Of course, this doesn’t mean inviting an employer around for coffee. It simply means that you should project a positive image of yourself in your CV. This can be done very effectively by going beyond a few bland words.

For instance, stating in your employment history that you were a “Waitress at Le Cafe” suggests you’d rather not talk about it. However, by stating “Waitress at Le Cafe, where I attended to diners, their orders and any further requests they had”, you not only give more detail but also come across as more open and positive.

Seen at a Glance

It is essential that your important information is easy to see at a glance. There are a variety of different résumé styles available to download online that can help to accomplish that, but the basic idea is that the important information is not hidden in among a web of sentences. Use bullet points, line spacing and line indents to avoid the clutter.

Producing a nice CV and resume that are concisely written and clearly laid out is a huge plus when applying for a job. Taking the time to perfect it is well worth the effort! 

Trilingual Career Coach & Recruiter with experience across Europe and Asia Pacific. She is also a speaker for workshops on resume writing, job searching tips, and interview techniques. She travels frequently but you can stay in touch with Eleanor via

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