CV Heat Map for Civil Engineers

CV Heat Map

Australian resume, CV advice, heat map, resume,


Understanding the CV heat map can help you create a better civil engineering CV when applying for jobs in Australia or New Zealand. 

After reading this blog, you will know what heat maps are and hopefully implement some changes to your CV that will assist you in passing the recruiter seven-second test (we will explain shortly).

What is a CV heat map?

A heat map represents data and presents it in the form of colour-coding to show different values.

Heat maps are implemented across many industries and commonly deliver behavioural analytics. In this case, we are exploring heat mapping relevant to how recruiters gather information from your CV.

No matter the use, the colours are usually represented through associated temperature colours. For example, blue and green indicate minimal interactions, but as the colours move into yellow, orange and then red the interaction increases. In the same way, you would know that blue is cold and red is hot.

Over the years, various heat map studies have been conducted with CVs to determine which sections recruiters or hiring managers focus on the most. We can now understand and recommend best practice strategies when trying to sell yourself to a prospective employer.

How much time does a recruiter spend on your CV?

Recruiters often have to review a large number of applications for each job posting. As a result, they spend only a few seconds on each CV during the initial review to quickly filter out candidates who don’t meet the basic criteria.

Many recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen CVs. ATS software scans CVs for keywords relevant to the job description. CVs that match the keywords are more likely to make it to the next round of review.

A study conducted by LADDERS (Eye-Tracking Study), through CV heat maps, determined that on average, a recruiter/hiring manager will scan a CV in just seven seconds, which is less than the attention span of a goldfish! Does your CV catch their attention within that time? If not, don’t stress. We are going to give you some pointers on how to stand out from the crowd of applicants.

What is the seven-second test and how to pass it?

The term “seven-second test” is not meant to be taken literally as exactly seven seconds. Instead, it highlights the incredibly short amount of time a recruiter spends during the initial review to decide whether a CV should move forward in the hiring process. How do you compete with other applicants and pass this test?

Here are some pointers:

  • F-shaped/ E-shaped pattern reading tendencies
    • This is where your eye focuses on the upper part of the content reading horizontally and then moves down the left side of the document, reading vertically. Bolding your headings on the left of your CV and using dot points will help important information be scanned. Place critical details on the left
  • Use a clear, simple layout – recruiters spend more time reading your job titles than anything else.
  • Be conscious of your fonts; make sure that the text is large enough and legible, so it is easy to digest.
  • Use titles and section headings correctly and be as straightforward as possible, so the reader knows when one section finishes and another starts.
  • Include the most important and relevant details on your first page

What ConsultANZ Recruiters look for in your engineering CV?

In the short time our recruiters spend scanning your civil engineering resume, they will direct their efforts to the below sections:

  • Job stability (years of tenure) – your longevity shows commitment and loyalty.
  • Steady career progression or improving skills & ability on an upward trajectory.
  • Companies/sectors/projects you have worked with.
  • Any unexplained gaps or absences in employment – explain them.
  • Key duties and associated skills that relate to your current role and the role you’re applying for.
  • Qualifications, education and experience.

How to Write an Australian CV. 


How to write an Australian CV


Applying for a job in Australia? Our blog has the tips, examples, and requirements needed to write the perfect Australian CV.

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