Who uses CVs?


  1. Hiring managers, their teams and their colleagues
  2. Company HR
  3. In-house recruiters
  4. Independent recruiter companies

Okay, the who was easy to answer but let’s delve a little. I used the term uses in this post’s title rather than reads advisedly. A CV will be indexed, searched, scanned and browsed far more than it will be read. Making a CV fit for these uses will help a CV make its way along the CV pipeline.

Pipeline? Yes, it’s the path CVs travel, the hurdles they have to successfully jump, to get applicants interviews.


Whilst a CV can enter the pipeline at any point I would still recommend writing CVs that work well across the whole pipeline to maximise your prospects for getting interviews.

CV databases are frequently used by recruiters, HR and hiring teams. They are, mostly, keyword search-based engines but can also take into account other data such as a candidate’s location and the date their CVs were last modified — no one wants to find an ex-job seeker. Your CV needs to cater for these search engines which are blind to prose and subtlety and so very driven by keyword-matching.  

When a CV is matched by a database search it lands in the hands of a human! But they don’t sit back and read it, word for word. Time is precious, most database matches end up being rejected, so they scan looking as much for reasons to discard a CV as for a reason to keep it.

The CVs that are well-formatted, error-free and include the terms of interest on the first page are the ones that are kept.

Next, let’s talk about that first page.

All CV tips