What a CV won’t tell you!

CVs are a staple in the recruitment process, and they are often the first introduction to a candidate. But a CV leaves gaps.  

A CV is perfect for highlighting a candidate’s previous experience, getting a sense of their core skills and whether they have the capabilities to do the job. It’s important to go beyond the CV to see the candidates potential. Picking up the phone and doing a pre-screening interview will help create a clearer picture of who each applicant is, what they offer and how they will work in a new organisation. 

Here are five things a CV won’t tell you and how to fill these gaps elsewhere in your recruitment process:

Soft Skills

Soft skills are the skills we have that help us work well in a team or organisation. Communication, collaboration, self-motivation and time management. 

It’s hard to get a sense of a candidate’s soft skills from a piece of paper. Typically we look at qualifications and experience as the key indicators of whether to proceed with the candidate’s application.  Use the pre-screening phone call to get a sense of the candidates soft skills by asking some behavioural questions.

Work ethic

A CV will outline a candidates career history and some of their major milestones. It will not tell you if they are motivated, hardworking, punctual and these are highly desired qualities.

Asking the candidate behavioural questions during the interview will give you a good sense of how they work. Ask them to provide you with a snapshot of what their day looks like and competency based questions. Ultimately the best way to get a sense of the person’s work ethic is by speaking to their references. 


Much like soft skills, a candidate’s character doesn’t shine through on a CV. A candidate’s personality will play a significant role in whether they can fit into a team or work with the manager. One option is to ask the candidate to go through some psychometric testing as part of the application process. 

If you want to get to know someone’s personality, you need to sit down and speak to them. The interview is where someone’s character is going to come through. 

Management style

Management styles can vary from person to person, and there is no one size fits well. A CV won’t confirm whether the candidate is going to work well with the manager. 

Much like personality, interviewing the candidate will give you an idea of whether they are a good fit for the manager or the team. 

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