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5 Ways To Ensure Your CV Performs Well On A CV Database

By Amy @BubbleJobs

When it comes to trying to find a new job, there are two main things you can do. The first one is obviously to search for vacancies and apply on a job board (like Bubble!) – and the second one is to upload your CV to a job board and make it searchable to recruiters and hiring managers.

CV databases work in a similar way to a simple job search eg. you type in keywords and locations and as a hiring manager you’re presented with a set of results, however instead of vacancies, you’re presented with a list of CVs.

As you can imagine, on some of the big generic job boards, your CV will be just one of hundreds of thousands (if not millions!) of CVs in the database – so there’s a chance your CV will never show up in a search, however on some of the smaller boards, there are obviously less CVs in the database so you stand a much better chance of your CV actually being seen.

That said; your CV is still going to have to compete to get to the top, so it’s worth putting a bit of time and effort in to make sure your CV performs as well as it possibly can in a CV database.

Just to clarify; every CV database has a different algorithm which interprets data in different ways – so it’s worth remembering that these are just general tips for using CV databases as a whole.

1. Include A Definitive Address:

A lot of CV databases place a lot of focus on a candidate’s location when trying to find the best results – so it’s important to make sure that somewhere on your CV, you’ve got a definitive address or location which the database can use. Looking to relocate to a particular city eg. London? It’s definitely worth including this as your main location (eg. omitting your actual address) to ensure you get picked up by a recruiter searching for candidates in this area.

2. Include A Job Title & Future Job Titles:

CV databases also tend to place quite a bit of focus on job titles so it’s really important to not only include any job titles you’ve previously held, but the job title you’re also looking for from your next role. So for example, if you’re currently working as an SEO Executive but you’re hoping to move into more of a Digital Marketing Manager position, it’s definitely worth including a sentence like “Experienced SEO Executive looking for their next challenging role, preferably as a Digital Marketing Manager”.

By doing this, you’re including two possible job titles which could get picked out in a search – and it means your CV could show up if someone is searching for a new Digital Marketing Manager in your area.

3. Include Key Skills:

Obviously a CV database can only go off the information you include in your CV so it’s important to ensure it has all the keywords in there that a recruiter or hiring manager might be searching for in relation to the role you’re looking for. Make sure your CV includes the details of any tools you’re familiar with eg. Google Analytics and any techniques you’ve used in the past eg. link building or blogger outreach. It’s important to remember that there are different terms for the same thing in each industry eg. onsite/on-page SEO, so it’s a good idea to include all iterations on your CV to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked.

4. Save Your CV As A Work Doc Or PDF, Not An Image File:

The majority of CV databases work by analysing the information on your CV so it’s important to save your CV either as a standard Word Document or a PDF to ensure the parser can actually do its job. If you save your CV as an image file, the parser can’t actually look inside the file and extract the information – so it’s highly unlikely your CV will perform well in a search. If you’re a designer who really wants an image file for their CV, that’s fine but it might be worth considering creating a standard CV too purely for CV database purposes.

5. Update It Regularly:

There are a couple of reasons why it’s important to update your CV regularly. Firstly, some recruiters are only interested in fresh, new CVs – so if you submitted your CV to the database longer than 12 months ago, it probably won’t get picked up by a lot of recruiters. And secondly, the CV that you created and uploaded to a particular job board 12 months ago might be completely out of date and might not paint an accurate picture of you as a candidate. That said; you could be exactly what a hiring manager is looking for but because you’ve got your old CV uploaded, you won’t come up as a possible option.


Here at Bubble we believe that it’s as important to be as pro-active as possible – so we’d always advise you to actively search and apply for jobs on a job board, rather than just sitting back and relying on a CV database to present the perfect new job to you.

Have any more tips? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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