I always advise my clients that if a cv doesn’t grab the potential employer within about 15-20 seconds of reading it then you are unlikely to be asked to interview.
I also say this from experience – having worked as an HR Manager and read 1000’s of cv’s, I’ve seen my fair share of good and bads ones!
Imagine your first page as a ‘sweet-shop window’ – you want people to come inside and browse, so get your eye-catching stuff in that window to attract attention. Get the potential employer hooked and excited about the prospect of you working with them. You are much more likely then to get invited for an interview to expand on your skills and talents further.
Please don’t assume that your cv will be thoroughly read word for word. If an employer is faced with 200 cv’s for each position, they will skim read first and probably have a ‘no’ and ‘yes’ pile. The aim is to ensure you go on the ‘yes’ pile!
So, if qualifications are important for the position you are applying for, make sure that is front-loaded on your cv. If they are looking for particular skills, then alter the layout to make sure they stand out on the front page.
Your cv is probably going to look very different for each position you apply for (and so it should), so just remember ‘sweetie-shop window’ and get your ‘goodies’ on that front page.
Happy job hunting – and as always, if I can help you in any, please just ask!