The power of a CV is often underestimated. The impact that you make with this document could be the difference between getting an interview or having to start again elsewhere. On average, most CVs will be read for just seven seconds before a decision is made about them so it’s important to ensure that yours stands out.
1. Open with a strong statement
You can make an impact from the moment a recruiter picks up your CV with a concise and well worded personal statement. Three sentences that summarise who you are, and why you’re ideal for the role, should be enough.
2. Make your CV an obvious fit
Rather than sending the same CV for every role that you apply for make sure you customise it each time. The idea is to tailor your skills and experience so that it’s easy for a recruiter or employer to see how you’re the perfect fit. Highlight relevant skills and link your experience and accomplishments directly to the role if you want to see results.
3. Focus on what you achieved
When you’re highlighting past roles it’s more constructive to list results and achievements than simply the tasks and responsibilities that the role required. With each role demonstrate how you grew in the position, how you changed and how your skills expanded and grew stronger each time.
4. Integrate an understanding of your industry
If you’re able to include information that shows you’re up to date with what’s currently happening in your industry you can set your CV apart. This doesn’t have to take up much space – it only needs to be a few words on latest trends or insights.
5. Give some space to networking
Most CVs today will contain an identical set of qualifications and, depending on the role, a largely similar list of experience. One way that you can really make your CV stand out is to show that you understand the relevance of networking. This will demonstrate that you’re proactive, a good communicator and that you have grasped the importance of being well connected. Most employers are looking for people who have strong communication skills and are able to confidently represent their brand and will spot this in a willingness to network.
6. Focus on key words
Some recruitment processes today filter CVs to pick out only those that use a specific set of power words, such as ‘innovative’ or ‘adaptable’ or industry specific terminology. It’s worth going through your CV and upgrading the language to ensure every word makes an impact and is creating the desired impression.
7. Get the basics right
If you don’t cover the basics when it comes to your CV then it will stand out – but for the wrong reasons. Keep your sentences short and paragraphs concise. Make sure you check grammar and spelling and ensure that you’ve included all the relevant information, such as contact details.
With a CV that stands out you have a much better opportunity to gain access to the role that you want and to start creating a dream career.