The Top Tips for getting  an interview in 2014 may surprise you – It’s fairly easy to demonstrate expertise by using the right buzz words or projects, but if all CV’s do that, how do You get yourself selected, and not left on the pile?

Gavin Barnard: Senior EMEA Recruiter at VMware is talking to Lynn Wade: The IT Career Coach, about how to raise your chances of getting to a phone  interview. Gavin has 3 Key recommendations to stand out from the crowd in todays IT marketplace:

Competition in business


1. Leave the covering letter in the 90’s

2. Stand Out – show me Interests and Hobbies and Passion – on a 2 page CV

3. Clean up your online footprint!



In the last 12 months Gavin has reviewed over 3000 CV’s, conducted 1100 telephone screens and made 75 job offers for roles ranging from Architects to Technical Account Managers and Services Sales Managers. Less than 1 in 3 applications makes it to a telephone screening. Here’s how to become one of the succesful ones:

Tip 1: Leave the Covering Letter in the ’90’s

“A modern in-house recruiter could be managing multiple business units with up to 30 jobs, so their time is limited. You want to create the best possible impression and most recruiters I know do an initial first pass on a CV, scanning for keywords, experience, skills, qualifications and any relevant data that would qualify that candidate. A more detailed review of selected CV’s will be performed later ,and the cover letter might get read at that stage, but might not.

Remember your CV is THE sell statement, but don’t overload it with masses of data. 2 pages max.

If you are a sales person, quote the deals you closed and their value (be sure you can back them up). If you are a consultant, detail the projects you worked on – how many people, duration, value and your precise involvement. The rest of the information can be bullet points, stating your skills, experience and qualifications.


For me, a CV needs to be interesting. This next point is the Golden Key for opening a door when it comes to recruitment:

Tip 2: Stand out via interests and hobbies

I see so many CV’s that list things like ‘Sport, Reading and Socializing with friends’.. BORING! Rip that part of your CV off right now and start again. If you want to gain my attention and encourage me to dial your number (aside from the fact you need to have the relevant skills to do the job), I want to see that you are an interesting person.

 “I enjoy sport” BORING! What sport? Do you currently play or Did you play? Did you win any medals? Achievements? Gold medals?

“I enjoy Reading” BORING! What books? Why? How did they make you feel? Maybe you’ve met the author and they inspire you.

 “Socializing with friends” BORING! What type of socializing? High flying tea at the Ritz? Or knitting club with your friends Nan. I say it in jest, but you get the picture.

Open the curtains of the window to your life and give the recruiter a split second glimpse at who you REALLY are.

You would be surprised at how effective this can be. Put in  voluntary work, community work, mentoring or clubs you are involved with. Detail this, it’s important. Companies hire people, not bits of paper.


Tip 3: Clean up your online footprint

Google yourself. Make your Facebook account private and keep your LinkedIn account up to date with the information you have on your CV.  And finally, review the photo you have on there!”



Gavin Barnard is an in-house recruiter for VMware: the leading provider of cloud and virtualisation software and services. Gavin can be contacted at Learn more about a career with VMware here

Lynn Wade: The IT Career Coach has built succesful IT businesses, and hired and managed some of the best in the business! Is a personal career coach for you? Click here to see what we can do for you or email