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4 Crucial Things That A CV Won’t Tell You

4 Crucial Things That A CV Won’t Tell You

A CV can be helpful when you’re assessing applicants, but it won’t tell you everything you need to know.

A CV can tell you a lot about candidates in the pipeline, from their previous work experience to their formal qualifications. 

But a CV doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about potential hires. 

To ensure that you’re recruiting talent that can elevate your business and thrive in your company, you’ll need to look beneath the surface of the CV and dig a little bit deeper during the hiring process. 

Let’s explore 4 crucial things that a CV won’t tell you about new applicants - and explain how you can fill the gaps. 

1. If a candidate has soft skills

When you’re considering a new hire, you need to know if an applicant has the basic skills necessary to do their job. For example, a mechanical engineer will need to understand how to use and maintain certain pieces of equipment. 

However, soft skills can also be incredibly important for success, and these won’t be included in a CV or application form.

People skills, for instance, are vital for collaborating with colleagues, managing staff, and servicing clients. Time management is another example of a soft skill that’s hugely important for punctuality and efficiency. 

If you want to learn more about a candidate’s soft skills, you can strategic questions such as:

  • Do you enjoy working and collaborating as part of a team?
  • How do you structure your time to meet tight deadlines?
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in the workplace? 

These questions will help you dig a little deeper to understand what makes a candidate tick - and whether they’ll be a good fit. 

2. If a candidate works hard 

When you’re expecting candidates to tackle challenging projects or assume managerial roles, you need to know that they’re industrious and hard-working enough for the job. 

Unfortunately, this information isn’t readily available in a CV – but you can still get a clearer sense of a prospect’s work ethic through an interview. 

Try asking open-ended questions about times a candidate has needed to solve a difficult problem or prepare for an important project. Their responses can tell you a lot about their willingness to push through professional challenges and work hard to get results. 

If an applicant has clearly done their homework about your company ahead of your conversation, this is also a good sign that they’re diligent and prepared. 

3. How a candidate likes to be managed

Every candidate is different, and not everyone performs well under the same style of management. 

To make sure that a potential hire will be able to thrive in your company, try to figure out what kind of guidance, feedback, and direction they enjoy in their role. 

While some people prefer to operate more independently, others rely on a close-knit team to do their best work. Some employees like to hear constant feedback and positive affirmation, while others are able to motivate themselves. 

The more you know about how a candidate works in a business environment, the better-equipped you’ll be to support them once they’re on board. 

4. If a candidate is a good cultural fit 

While you should always strive to create an inclusive and welcoming work environment, not every company culture will suit every single candidate. 

For example, some companies may place a strong emphasis on a business hierarchy, while others may operate with a flat management structure. You might encourage a very casual work environment, or you may prefer to keep things more formal. 

Whatever your business culture is, try to understand if a potential hire will be a good match. 

Be open about your company values, ask about previous workplace experiences, and dig a little bit deeper into a candidate’s personality. A good culture fit is very important for long-term job satisfaction, so be sure to get a good feel for the level of synergy here. 

A CV can tell you a lot about a prospect, particularly in terms of their basic skills, qualifications, and experiences. This information can help you to identify front-runners and build a hiring shortlist - but it’s not necessarily enough.

If you really want to know if a candidate can thrive in your business, you’ll need to look beyond the resume.

By asking the right questions (and paying close attention to the answers) you can understand if an applicant has the right work ethic, soft skills, and personality traits to flourish with your company.


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