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Tips for creating a CV that will stand out

22 February 2021 by Sarah Connell
Blog CV Tips

CV Tips

​You don’t need us to tell you how important your CV is. It summarises your experience and qualifications for a hiring manager or recruiter and, no pressure, but it’s the document they use to decide whether or not you might be a fit for your dream job! 

So, you really want your CV to be the best it possibly can be! But writing a good CV can be one of the toughest challenges of job hunting. Most employers spend just a mere few seconds scanning each CV before sticking it in the 'Yes' or 'No' pile. So, you don’t want it to look messy, outdated, or hard to read. Cliches, lies and typos are all reasons people are not offered an interview.

With all that in mind, how do you craft the perfect CV which will stand out?

We’ve got the best tips for how to create a CV that will stand out from the crowd and land you that all-important interview.

Keep it Simple

Ensure your CV is clean, easy to read and in a simple layout. Use clear section headings and make them stand out with bold type, capital letters, and/or a different colour. Make sure there’s enough white space – an overstuffed CV is difficult to read.

Keep it punchy and to the point. Only add in something that sells your skills and experience to a potential employer. The reason for this is hiring managers might only have a glance at your CV, which leaves only a limited timeframe to get your message across and get them interested! So, you need to make each second count. Be concise and don’t be afraid to delete experience if it’s not relevant to that role.

Include a Personal Statement 

Your CV should preferably start with a personal statement. Think of this as your opening pitch and an opportunity to convince a recruiter to keep reading your CV – and that it’ll be worth it!

Your personal statement should explain why you are the best person for the job and what value you can bring to them. To help with this, think of your unique selling point, any recent accomplishments that they would be interested in hearing about, and avoid clichés such as a team player and strong interpersonal skills.

Tailor your CV 

Now, we’re probably all guilty of this. We’ve all done it. Whizzed the same CV out to lots of employers to save time. But if you want your job search to be effective and successful, preparing your CV shouldn’t be a one-time experience.

You’ll receive more responses from interested companies if you take the time to change your CV and customise it for each new role you apply for. Use the job description to work out exactly what skills you should point out to them.

Tailoring your CV connects the dots for hiring managers and recruiters who are inundated by a flood of generic applicants. Instead of proving that you’re a skilled professional in general, it shows them that you’re a perfect fit for this specific job description.

And they will appreciate the obvious effort.

Key Skills

Make sure your skills list supports your personal statement and also match the requirements for the job you’re applying for.

Read the job description carefully to see which skills, programs, and keywords are mentioned. If there’s a requirement or responsibility listed in the job description which you have performed in a current or previous role, ensure it’s on your CV!

Check and Check Again

Hiring managers do look for mistakes! So, avoid errors at all costs. This includes spelling mistakes, typos, dates which conflict with one another and incorrect email address and phone number.

With a lot of employers facing large volumes of applicants, giving them the excuse to dismiss your application because of avoidable errors is not going to help you secure an interview.

To avoid errors, use a spellchecker, Grammarly or ask someone else to double-check what you have written and ask for their feedback.

Break it Down and Quantify

For each job on your CV, list out your key responsibilities and accomplishments in easy to skim bullet points. Try not to use paragraphs as it makes it harder to read.

Where possible, try to add results, numbers, or percentages to your bullet points to show the impact you had in that role. For example, “sales increased by XX% during my time with XXX”. However, you can do this even if you are not in a numbers or sales figure related role. You can state how big your team was, how many clients you dealt with, how many events you managed, how frequently you performed a certain task, and so on. 

These tips will help your CV stand out, assist getting it to the top of the pile, and bring you one step closer to landing your dream job!

If you are on the job hunt and looking for your next career move, please feel free to contact us. We are always here to help you!

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