time spent on cv

7-13 seconds is the average time spent by recruiters looking at a resume

intersting cv facts

88% rejection rate when you include a photo in your resume

email for cv

76% resumes are discarded for un professional email address

structure of cv

91% rejection rate for long resumes, grammatical mistakes, unclear structure

Everything is judged by its appearance. What is unseen counts for nothing. Never let your CV get lost in the crowd, or buried in oblivion.      

Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost.

Make your resume a magnet of attention, by making it appear larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.But how can you achieve all of this.

Are there any tricks ?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you in today’s guide.

Because over the last few months. I’ve been reading and researching about the resumes, the human psychology of impression. The impact of fonts and importance of words.

I did all of this because, I wanted to knew, What makes a curriculum vitae(CV) to stand out from the crowd and get interview invitations.....every time

interview tips announcement

Free Bonus: Download 3 exclusive curriculum vitae (CV) templates based on the rules explained in this guide.

Chapter List

recruiters perspective
cv selection parameters
resume guide
Resume guide for developers

Let's have a look at these chapters one by one

recruiters expectations

An average curriculum vitae (CV) will get lost in the pile of 100's of other CV's. But an exception CV will get interview invitations for you. 

Have a look at the following graph


exceptional vs average cv facts

But how does recruiters determine which CV looks better then the others?

How do they choose the lucky ones who gets interview invitations?

Here are the top five points recruiters from small to big corporations look for in  CV

1) Recent role

In general recruiters try to figure out what candidate's current status is. Most importantly, is candidate's most recent experience relevant to the position for which they are hiring.

Has he worked in related projects, fields and technologies. What kind of company he is currently working in, is it big or famous company or an unknown small one.

2) keywords

Does the person have the specific experience for the role they are hiring?

If they are looking for an iOS Engineer, for example, and the words "iOS" or "Objective-C" don't even make a cameo appearance in someone's resume. It will be an instant rejection.

Candidates should be vigilant to ensure that the actual important key words contained in the job advertisement are represented on your resume. 

Following graph shows how recruiters review your resume. Each spike in red graph shows the increase in interest whenever a related keyword is found in the resume.

job related keywords in resume


But it does not mean you should "key word" it up on your resume, think again. Keep it authentic. and only use the most related keywords related to the job post.

3) Experience

Is there a career progression? Does the person have increasing levels of responsibility? Do the titles make sense? (You're a VP of Marketing for a 5 person company? It will not impress the recruiter.) Do the responsibilities listed therein match what recruiters are actually looking for?

4) Overall Impression

Personal online footprint. This is not required. But if you have an online footprint, and you've bothered to include it in your resume, Recruiter's gonna click these. This includes personal domains, Quora profiles, Twitter handles, GitHub contributions, or anything a candidate has chosen to list.   

cv facts

5) Formatting of CV

This includes spelling, grammar, ease of use, ability to clearly present ideas. 

Things Recruiters Wish People Would Stop Doing

Mistakes to avoid in resume

Things Recruiters Wish More People Would Do

  • List key personal projects
  • Bring personality into the resume
  • Include URLs for online footprints
  • Use color and lovely typography
cv selection and recruiter behavior

Hundreds of books have been written to determine how consumers behave and how the big corporations misuse this behavior to drive sales of their products.

To some extent recruiters behave in the same manner and understanding of this behavior will provide us with valuable information. Which we can use to get our resume noticed.

Imagine you went out to buy a shirt for yourself. Now what lies in your head before you go out? 

The color of the shirt, brand, size, style, shape, fabric, your price range etc. All of these are your requirements for the shirt you want to buy. Now as you will walk through shop after shop in a shopping center looking at different shirts.

Your mind will be unconsciously making a scan of all the tiny details, how shirts are presented, which brands they belong to and how many of them are actually meeting your criteria.

Then  all of sudden you will see one shirt, you will stop and go inside the shop and try it out then you will either buy it out or move on.

Recruiters behave in exactly the same manner when scrolling through a pile of CV's. 

But why would you or recruiter will suddenly stop. And decide to try a shirt or invite a candidate, out of literally 100's of others?

The answer lies in "THE TRIGGER"

What is the trigger? 

In psychology, A trigger is a moment in your brain when all of your requirements finds its immediate solution. Which in turn fulfills or exceeds your expectations.

When we are searching for something either a shirt or a candidate, everything we see will make 100's of micro impressions on us. The more of these impressions align with our desires, needs, wants or requirements more we feel inclined towards them and it finally creates an AHHA moment where we feel that we have finally found what we are looking for.

And this AHHA moment is the trigger point when we actually make an emotional or conscious decision to buy or try it out.

So in order to get selected your CV (resume) must be able to evoke a trigger moment in its reader.

But how we can evoke a trigger moment?

Our answer lies in "THE SKIMMING" 

What is skimming ?

Researchers at Aalborg university used a state of the art eye tracking software and a tool to measure the time spent on each section of the CV (through scrolling and pause time). 

The findings of their research can be summarized as 

"Recruiters almost never read a full CV. Instead tracking of there eye movement revealed that they were mostly skimming or searching for the CV for the information related to the job they were hiring.

When they were presented with a CV which had most of the keywords related to the job [keywords deliberately placed at specific points on CV] , Recruiters eyes instantly looked at those sections of the CV and in instant moment they short listed those CV's for interview. Moreover there was a direct relation between looking at and the time spent on those sections."

Now we have a very clear idea that if your resume is able to evoke a trigger moment in the readers. You can get invitations for the interview.  And you can get this trigger moment by hacking the skimming process recruiters use to look through your resume. 

The following chapter will teach you in details which exact elements you need to achieve that.  

elements of exceptional cv

3.1)  Attract Attention

In order to stand out from the crowd your CV must first attract attention. Once in the limelight your CV must be able to constantly renew it.

If it can’t, then reader will grow tired, will trash it , and will move on to the next CV.

To attract attention, your CV should include two elements:

3.1.1) What you have achieved

This can be achieved by a very powerful introduction. You must introduce yourself in no more than 3-4 lines, by using words of great resonance, Words full of heat and enthusiasm.

Fancy titles for simple things are helpful, as are the use of numbers and the creation of new words for your achievements.

If done right, It will create the impression of specialized knowledge and a great personality in the eyes of the reader.

3.1.2) What you can bring for the new job

You must find a way to engage people’s will, to make their belief in your skills strong enough that they imagine all sorts of benefits.

Their belief will have a self-fulfilling quality. 

To achieve this you must align your CV to the requirements of the job. If you can present your skills, experiences and achievements as closely as  the job requires.

It will make them believe with a passion and they will imagine the rest.

This combination will stimulate all kinds of hazy dreams in your CV readers, who will make their own connections and see what they want to see.

Finally inviting you for the interview

3.2) Appeal to all the senses : Understand the Psychology of impression to make your CV stand out

In 1788, an Austrian doctor Franz Mesmer, announced that he can cure the mentally sick, depressed and stressed people with power of magnetic matter.

In Vienna, where he lived, no body believed him. So he decided to move to Paris and start again.

Mesmer rented a splendid apartment in Paris and decorated it with stained glass in the windows to create a religious feeling, he set up mirrors on all the walls to produce an hypnotic effect.

The doctor advertised that in his apartment he would give demonstrations of the powers of animal magnetism, inviting the diseased and melancholic to feel its powers.

Soon Parisians of all classes mostly women,were paying for entry to witness the miracles that Mesmer promised.

Inside the apartment, the scents of orange blossom and smell of exotic perfumes filled the room. As the patients entered into the salon where the demonstrations took place.

They heard harp music and the lulling sounds of a female vocalist coming from another room.

In the center of the salon was a long oval container filled with water that Mesmer claimed had been magnetized.

The visitors were instructed to sit semi naked around the container, and to hold hands with their neighbors, sitting as close as possible to one another to help the magnetic force pass between their bodies.

Mesmer would leave the room, and “assistant magnetizers” all handsome and strapping young men and women would enter with jars of magnetized water.

They would sprinkle on the patient’s, rubbing the healing fluid on their bodies, massaging it into their skin, moving them toward a trance like state.

After a few minutes a kind of delirium would overcome the women. Some would sob, some would turn on and tear their clothes, others would laugh hysterically.

At the height of the delirium Mesmer would re-enter the salon, dressed in a flowing silk robe embroidered with golden flowers and carrying a white piece of silk.

Moving around the container, he would slowly move the silk over the half naked bodies, until the calm was restored. Almost all the women who would attend his treatment, would claim to experience intense pleasure.

Something they have never felt before.

Within months of his arrival in Paris, Mesmer became famous like king. Medical community was not convinced.

At the height of Mesmer’s popularity, a French commission published a report based on years of testing the theory of animal magnetism.

The conclusion: Mesmer is not a physician, the magnetism effects has no truth. The intense pleasure felt by the body actually came from a kind of group hysteria and visual and sensual aura created to cater each senses of the participant.

Just imagine men and women sitting in a circle, with moon light pouring in the room , soothing music hitting their ears, decoration on the walls, the touch of silk on their semi naked body, erecting every pore from head to the toes.

It was overwhelming all the senses sending them into a trance like feeling.

Once caught, finally Mesmer admitted there is no healing or magnetic matter. He revealed, anyone who knows how to deal with human senses, expectations and perceptions is able to evoke hypnotic feelings.


As a job seeker you must find a way to engage people’s visual , logical and reasoning senses through your CV.

It should create a same hypnotic effect on the readers as Mesmer achieved  by understanding the human psychology and perceptions.

Interviewers spends roughly 7-13 seconds looking at a CV. In these few seconds you need to make them believe in your qualities, strong enough that they imagine you better than few hundred other candidates. 

Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived. NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, 1469-1527 

3) Alter the perception

Everything depends on perception, and once you are seen as the kind of person who might be a perfect fit for the job. No other resume stands a chance to compete with yours.

You will be invited for the job interview.

But in order to alter the perception, Your resume should be able to draw a picture of you which is aligned with the needs and requirements of the job.

The only way to achieve that is by a deep understanding of the requirements of the specific job you are applying for. 

Understand that most of the people are lazy and don't spend any effort to make their resume's align with the job requirements.

Research shows that more than 89.2% people send the same resume for all the jobs without making any adjustments.

You can instantly differentiate yourself from the crowd. Go through the job advertisement again and again. pick up all the keywords required and see how many of them you can include in your resume.

What good is it to have all the skills in the world if others reap the benefits and the glory?

Never invite your own rejection by yourself by sending a vague, open-ended resume for the job. 

resume format
cv format tips
best cv format for programmer job

This CV format is based on all the above rules. It makes the skimming process easy and readable which in turn will be able to evoke a trigger.

You can choose to be invited for any job interview. All you have to do is to fill it up with the data. 

But remember

Your introduction should attract attention 

You need to sprinkle job related keywords in your introduction, experience, skills and project description.

Explain your most important projects in the clear and simple manner

Following resume template will show you how you can achieve all of this in the most efficient manner.  

 About The Author


interview help

If you have any questions or need some help with your upcoming interview, feel free to contact me. I will make sure to help you in the best possible way.

All the materials and services on this site are 100% free. Just to help someone who might be stuck as I once was.

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