A general heuristic you could apply when hiring good people (because why would you hire people who aren’t good for your team?) is to assume that the effort on a CV is directly related to how interested the candidate is in working for you.
The more effort applied to tailoring the CV and the application – the more they are someone you want to hire. If you’re looking to hire great people you’ll be looking for people who want to work with you, and not just want any old job.
This is a good heuristic to use, but as always, it is fallible.
Generally speaking though a CV that has been tailored thoughtfully to match your job advert is often the sign of a person who cares about working for you.
A boiler plate CV with no tailoring is a sure sign of someone who just wants a job – any job.
Be careful though. Not everyone knows how to write good CVs or tailor an application. You may miss some great candidates by applying the heuristic with no other key indicators.
In my opinion though if someone wants to work for you then they will take care and effort over the application.
Care and effort on the application manifests itself in a clean and simple CV with carefully chosen details to support their application. It will contain a sentence or two about each of the aspects in your job advert, even if it’s a simple statement saying “I am currently learning X” or “I am keen to understand more about Y”. It shows they care. And people that care are people you’ll likely want to hire.
In my experience the better the CV – the better the candidate.
Of course, the best way to recruit people is to go direct to them, build your network and never use jobs boards….more on these ideas soon.