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How To Make A Great First Impression On A Recruiter

By Rachael Bailey-Frost

​​How to make a great first impression on a recruiter


In my role as Talent Acquisition Manager and after years of working within the recruitment sector, I have seen a lot of job applications! I never want to miss out on a potentially fantastic candidate, so I always ensure I review every application sent to me.


Due to the popularity of the recruitment sector, the number of applications I receive is usually in the hundreds. This makes it near impossible to pick up the phone and speak to every single person who has applied. Because of such a high number of applications, I use a ranking system which allows me to identify the most suitable candidates to contact first.


As a rule, I am a firm believer that a CV does not always do a candidate justice. A piece of paper can never fully represent a person, their achievements, their personality or their ambition. However, here are a few CV tips that will ensure your application stands out from the crowd and that you are at the top of a (probably very long!) call list:

  • A cover letter; A short cover letter highlighting the key achievements in your CV that make you suitable for the position you are interested in will go a long way. You are showing the Hiring Manager that you are keen on the position and making the effort to pitch yourself. Where possible look for a direct email address as this will ensure your application goes straight to their inbox and you will get noticed. Try and avoid using a generic cover letter; make the company feel like you want to work for them specifically.

  • Target your application; There is nothing wrong with applying for roles in multiple sectors, this is your job search and you should explore your options. If you are unsure about which direction you want to take, you should tailor your CV to each specific sector. This also allows you to highlight the key skills you have that are relevant to that sector alone, meaning you will have more of a chance of attracting the attention of the person reading it.

  • Be clear and concise; Try to keep your CV to a maximum of two pages. Take out any irrelevant information and use bullet points where appropriate to condense the information you are providing. Ensure your most recent work experience is listed at the top of your CV and your academic achievements and contact details are clearly visible. People often over complicate their CV. Make it as easy as possible for us to understand your background and why you are right for the role we are advertising.

  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar checks; It sounds obvious, however so many people do not give their covering letters and CV’s a thorough check before applying for a job. In this day and age you can avoid many of these mistakes by using spellchecker which will highlight and change any grammatical errors. First impressions count, so make sure something as small as this doesn’t make you stand out for the wrong reasons.


Use our CV help and cover letter advice to get yourself noticed – and one step closer to the job of your dreams!


Due to growth, we have a number of Recruitment Consultant jobs in both Leeds and Leicester. We are keen to speak to ambitious individuals. Whether you are a recruitment novice or an experienced recruitment professional, we could have the exciting new role you have been waiting for.


For a confidential conversation about what we offer, get in touch today! Either call me directly on 07920 595 229 or send your CV to rachael.bailey-frost@ata-recruitment.co.uk.