Your CV is the first step in your search for your next job. Let’s look at how you can make it stand out.

It’s been an interesting few months! The pandemic has caused most of us to pause daily life. Some businesses have closed their doors until it is safe to re-open and some have flourished!

There are companies recruiting, but as the candidate market becomes a larger pool to choose from, it’s more important than ever that you stand out! Making sure your CV stands out from the crowd may mean the difference between being shortlisted or not. You may have all the skills and experience, but a weak CV can have a detrimental effect on whether or not you get the chance to interivew for your dream job.

1. Tailor your CV to each job

When you are applying for a number of roles, tailoring your CV may seem like an unnecessary headache. However, taking the time to make sure your CV is specific to the role you are applying for can make a big difference! But, where do you start? First of all, make sure that you have the job advert or job description to hand. The answers to all your questions are probably in there – if you look hard enough.

Is there a list of desirable and essential skills? Why not put these into a table on your CV or cover letter and score yourself out of 10. Or maybe you could include how many years experience you have for each area.

What sector does the business operate in. Have you had experience in this sector before? Or do you have transferable skills. It’s important to highlight this.

Do your research. Are there particular pain points that the sector is experiencing? Have you worked in a similar environment before? Maybe you have even identified and resolved similar pain points previously. Make sure you shout about it!

Tailoring a CV is a lot more than a 2 minute job. Take your time and the rewards will be worth it.

formatting your CV to stand out

2. Your profile matters

Did you know that decisions on CV’s are made in as little as 6 seconds? That’s not a long time! You have to stand out right from the start.

You should always include a personal profile at the top of your CV. Think of it as an executive summary of your whole CV. What if a hiring manager only read this section? Would they get a good idea on your suitability for the job? If not, then you need a re-write.

Ask a friend to read your profile and give you honest feedback. Getting feedback from people who really know you is always a good idea for that all important profile. Remember – you have 6 seconds to impress!

3. Get the basics right

Your CV could be your one chance to shine! Don’t miss the opportunity by having spelling, grammar or any other mistakes. When it comes to deciding who to invite for interview, it may be between you and one other. A mistake could make the difference between an interview or not.

We know how easy it can be to miss something really simple. But this is important. Get someone to check your CV. They may notice something you haven’t. A mistake can make it look like you rush jobs, don’t check your work, or have poor attention to detail. Not great qualities in a new hire. Make sure you are representing yourself to the very best of your abilities.

4. Results rather than responsibilities

This is a really great way to make your CV stand out. Listing your responsibilities for each job is good, but it doesn’t prove that you were any good at them. You may have been so strong in one area that you were asked to mentor someone. Or, you may have been given additional responsibilities as a result of achieving something great? You need to highlight this on your CV.

Think about the results you achieved in your role. Can you use these to sell yourself? Maybe you increased the conversion rates in a sales team. Improved customer satisfaction scores. Increased online sales. Whatever you achieved, make sure you show it in your CV. Be as specific as you can and make sure your results are in bold, or even a different colour. Here’s some examples of great results –

Whatever you choose as your results, aligning them with the job requirements can get you straight to the top of the CV pile.

5. Make it easy to read

And finally, making your CV easy to read is really important. You’ve gone to all the effort of making it your best application. You’ve tailored it to meet the job. Your personal profile is fantastic. You’ve found some excellent examples of impressive results you’ve achieved. But, if it’s not laid out properly or is difficult to read then it may all have been in vain.

A CV that looks nice will stand out, yes. But it also has to be simple to read. It really depends on the job you are applying for as to how you should present your CV. Certain industries will prefer a traditional format and layout. Others may want you to show your creativity. Either way, it still has to be easy to read.