5 things business leaders should look for in a CV

Good leaders know that no other resource at their disposal is as important as their key employees, but in order to maximise those human assets, they need to find them first. As the future potential of an applicant is not always apparent, the CV of the candidate serves a big role here.

While there might be slight changes and additions to this list, depending on the nature of the business concerned, the following five things are mostly what all employers should be looking for in their ideal future employee’s CV.

employee CV


Does the information provided by the applicant seem relevant in any way to your business and the post concerned, or does it seem generic? If it is generic, the applicant probably doesn’t take the job application as seriously as he/she should. A finely tailored CV will contain information relevant to your company and more specifically, in line with the post that you are trying to fill. It is a sign that the candidate is serious about getting the job and has done the necessary background research and customised his/her resume accordingly, before sending it to you. The highlighted points should feel like an answer to the questions you have not even asked yet.


Even if you have a small company and the applicant is an experienced worker with a renowned background in the field, the last thing you want is a CV that highlights their needs ahead of those of the company’s. For example, if the experienced worker in question mentions a minimum salary and makes it clear that he/she will not work for anything less than that, it is a sign that this is not an employee you would want to hire. Instead, it is better to opt for a prospective candidate with less achievements, but a tone that displays enthusiasm for the actual job, rather than the money. If you want good employees, you will have to pay them well, and that’s a given. However, that part comes later on in the hiring process and is not supposed to be mentioned on a CV.


While prior achievements alone should not be enough to convince you, it is definitely very impressive if you land upon a CV where the candidate has mentioned his/her experiences and achievements which are quite relevant to your own needs for the opening. Do not forget to run a background check on candidates with impressive achievements though, because applicants do make things up at times and some are so good at fabrications that nothing short of a proper background check would disapprove what they have written on their CV.

The formatting and the language

Whether you are selecting candidates for a coding job or your next marketing executive, the actual quality of the language and the formatting is important as well. If the candidate doesn’t even know how to write a good CV and makes multiple errors in that one document which will literally decide the future of the person, how can you expect the same person to not make similar errors while working for you? A single misplaced word can ruin an entire code and a spelling mistake can change the meaning of your marketing slogan. Choose employees who are careful enough to avoid such errors and are able to follow at least simple formats.


If there are multiple applicants for a job, then there is a very good chance that even after HR removes all the irrelevant CVs, you will be left with a good number of potential candidates that fulfil almost every criterion that you are looking for. This is where things become hard as you must select from candidates who are all qualified and fit for the role you are looking to fill. At this point, you are supposed to make a shortlist for the upcoming interviews, based on the uniqueness of the CVs. “Uniqueness” is hard to define, or it doesn’t really remain unique, but here, it can be described as a list of CVs that stand out to you the most – CVs that show the person made an extra effort to know more about the post on offer and CVs that appear as an answer to your job-related queries. This will even come in handy while taking the interviews as you will be able to test if the applicants really match up to their unique CVs, or if they just copied some things from the internet just to make an impression.

During an interview, a lot more can be unveiled about the candidate, as long as you know how to ask the right questions, but you cannot interview everyone. To make sure that you are interviewing the right people, go through the CVs you have and look for the things that were just discussed, because paying attention to those few pages of information could lead you towards finding an employee that might just do great things for your business in the future.