over 1 year ago by Jamie Beaumont

Five secrets to CV screening for your graduate sales programme


Once you’ve worked your way through the pre-hire process, you’ll have built a firm foundation from which to attract some ideal candidates for your graduate sales programme.


But there’s still a lot to do before those candidates walk through your door as employees. So here are our top tips for the first step in the hiring process – CV screening.


Check each candidate’s story

First, check for a consistent timeline on a candidate’s CV and be aware of any suspiciously large gaps between roles. However, if you do find a gap, make sure you ask the candidate about it, instead of discarding their CV straight away.


Be aware of limited experience

On a graduate CV, you won’t always have lots of relevant experience to choose from. So make sure that you look out for candidates who’ve already demonstrated their proactivity by going out and achieving something.

Similarly, don’t judge people too harshly for a degree subject they might have chosen four years ago. It may not reflect the career they want to pursue now, so be open to thinking about what they might have to offer for your particular role.


Don’t focus on the wrong areas

Unless your candidates are being asked to submit their CV in a particular format, the layout and aesthetics of a CV is a somewhat subjective area. So don’t judge people too harshly on their CV design – instead focus on the content in order to assess a candidate’s true potential.


If in doubt, ask

It's natural that you’ll have questions about the CVs of some of the graduates applying for your role. But make sure you ask them directly and don’t simply judge the candidate based on your own instincts or assumptions.

If you do have questions, the candidate will be the best person to answer them. This will also give them an opportunity to demonstrate how they deal with objections, giving you extra insight into their suitability for the role.


Don’t judge a book by its cover

Finally, remember that a CV is still just a piece of paper. In the same way that you can’t always judge a book by its cover, you won’t see all the potential in a graduate candidate by simply reading their CV.

So keep an open mind and read between the lines to find out what each candidate really has to offer. You might be pleasantly surprised at the number of candidates who can demonstrate their fit for your graduate sales programme.

Our monthly leadership breakfasts explore ways to boost your sales operation with graduates. Join us at the next one here [hyperlink to sign up form/email request to join].



When you’re ready to screen the CVs of your graduate sales programme candidates, it will pay to know these five tips.