Important factors a CV won’t tell you about a candidate

Once an applicant has applied for a position, it is the Recruiters duty to screen through the applications and shortlist the most suitable CV’s. When going through this process, you need to consider the candidates experience and background, not just their skills and qualifications. By not focusing on all of the CV content, you could be missing out on strong candidates.

Here are a few things that a CV will not tell you about the applicant, and how you are able to identify these attributes elsewhere within the recruitment process and not to overlook them.


A lot of employers tend to contact the candidates references after the interview process, sometimes this may be too late.

Contacting references of a candidate prior to you inviting them in for an interview will enable you to find out the majority of the above by speaking with their previous employer. You will find out if the candidate was punctual, reliable and hardworking. If the reference mentions something that sparks a red flag, you will perhaps think twice about inviting them in for an interview or trial day.

This will save you time for booking interviews a trial day for individuals, to then find out their work ethic and attitude isn’t to the standards that you are looking for. Next time you are looking to make your next hire, try the reference check process prior to your interviews and see if this makes a difference.

Work Ethic

A CV will reveal a candidate’s work history and background however it will not reveal the vital skills in which each employer looks for: Dedication, reliability and determination.

Finding this information out can be achieved in the telephone interview stage, or in the initial interview. Asking the candidate questions about how they would combat multiple work deadlines, how well they adapt to change and learning new skills and to provide examples of how they excelled in difficult situations in the past. These questions will reveal the type of work ethic and attitude this individual has.

Trial days are also another effective way of seeing what type of work ethic a candidate possesses. Seeing them in action within the workplace will enable you to see how they interact within your workplace, their attitude to being in a new environment and how well they take on the new challenge. Also, it enables the candidate to see if they can envision themselves working within your company and if they feel comfortable with your employees and the work at hand.

Management styles can vary, and a CV won’t be able to confirm which candidates will be able to adapt or if they are easy to manage in general.

Presence & Presentation  

The professional appearance of a candidate is something that cannot be portrayed until being face to face with the candidate.

Interpersonal skills are something every employer look for, however its one thing mentioning them on your CV, but meeting with the candidate is the only way you will be able to learn about their personality. You need to consider if the personality of the candidate is a good match for your organization. 

Interviewing candidates will give you an insight of their personality and how well they will react to instructions, rules or procedures within the hiring company.

It’s essential to go beyond a CV and notice the potential of candidates. Picking up the phone and initiating a conversation will give you a clearer picture about who is the right candidate for the job.