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Halliday Marx Visions

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When you have a mountain of CVs to review, it’s easy for candidates to blur together and for the process to become an overwhelming task. Where do you start?

As recruitment specialists for the London Financial Market, Halliday Marx review thousands of CVs. In this article, we take a closer look at how to recognise a great CV from an average one, and help you put together an excellent shortlist for the interview stage.

Key words

Know what you want for the role. Make a list of key words and requirements necessary for the position, outlining the minimum experience and skills that you want in a candidate. Knowing what to focus on during the initial scan will help you to successfully assess and compare the CVs. Be familiar with these key words to help you identify which candidates you want to explore further.


Depending on the seniority of the position, you’re going to have certain expectations when it comes to sector specific experience. Keep an open mind. While it’s important to keep these at the forefront, there are a lot of Financial candidates who want to expand their skill sets, industry knowledge and grow into new roles.

“Hiring for potential should also be considered. Look at a candidate’s most recent achievements to see if they are capable of taking on any extra responsibilities. You want an employee with a good level of drive and determination”, added John Marx, Director, Halliday Marx.


Top financial talent will customise their CV to the role in direct relation to the job advert. You’ll easily be able to tell which candidates have put in substantial thought.

Andy Halliday, Director, Halliday Marx commented, “We are always wary of CVs that appear generic or have vague statements. Many people want a ‘rewarding and challenging’ role, but we are only interested in placing candidates who will excel in the specific role we are looking to fill”.

Evidence Based CVs

Halliday Marx keep an eye out for CVs that have detailed data like percentages and other signs of quantitative or financial impact.  If you find a candidate who has proven their value in the past (and has the numbers to prove it), you’re on to a winner. Look out for candidates with proven ability to get the job done. Do they have a history of delivering on specific objectives? Have they produced any definitive results?


It doesn’t have to be a visual masterpiece, but be wary of resumes that appear unorganised or thrown together without thought. A worthy applicant will take time to be certain their document is free of typos, spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.

“Spelling mistakes in CVs often reflect how a candidate approaches their work, attention to detail is important in the Financial Industry, and suggests that the candidate has a good eye for detail and is conscientious”, added John Marx.


Reviewing Financial CVs can be a time-consuming process, but knowing what to look for and being aware of any red flags will help you streamline your efforts. Remember to remain focused on what you’re looking for, stay objective in your decision-making, and you will have an excellent interview shortlist in no time.

If you’re in need of recruitment advice, or perhaps considering your next career move, call us on 020 7096 8200, or write to us at [email protected]

For the latest recruitment information, financial opportunities, career advice and company updates, follow us on LinkedIn and twitter @HallidayMarx

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