What does your CV say about you? Does it follow a generic format, including a brief intro, qualifications, skills and education, ending with references? Or have you made an effort to stand out?
We’re now in a candidate-driven market – In short, it is a highly competitive hiring arena. With this in mind, to serve a chance of securing a new job, you’ll need to stand out. You’ll need to break through the noise. You will need to do something to get your CV in front of the hiring manager. You’ll need to do something to be remembered… over all of those other candidates.
Many job seekers will follow a monotonous application process. They will submit a generic CV for a number of roles at once. They will wait to hear back, usually resulting in nothing. This will be down to their lazy, boring application material.
See the importance of standing out in the application process, along with how to use your CV to differentiate yourself…
Why it’s important to stand out in the application process
Imagine you’ve applied for a Marketing Executive role in a popular City. It is highly likely that a large influx of candidates will apply. It will be a competitive hiring process, with many other job seekers, similar to you in the line-up.
With this in mind, you cannot become lazy with your application material. You need to provide a great first impression that will place you ahead of the competition. This is where your CV comes into play. Here you’ll have the chance to share your personality, your values and your suitability for a role. You’ll have the opportunity to share it in black and white, clearly defining who you are and if you’ll fit their company. You can be as creative as you like with your CV.
Without using your CV as a selling tool, it is likely that you’ll fade off into the background. You’ll be branded as an average candidate, failing to meet the criteria. Although you may fit the role in person, you’ll need to firstly sell yourself and use your CV to stand out…
How to use your CV to truly stand out
Instead of following a generic CV format, it is important that you spend some time forming yours. Remember that recruiters and hiring managers receive a large number of applications on the daily. You’ll need to grab their attention, to stop, read and put your CV forward.
Although professionalism should be kept in mind throughout, it’s about harnessing the opportunity you have to differentiate yourself. It’s not about changing the colour of your font or adding a picture. It’s about creating a CV that helps you stand out for their role.
Create a specialist CV
In order to use your CV to stand out, you must follow a specialist approach. Sending a generic marketing themed CV will not drive curiosity or excitement. You’ll need to share your true specialisms, showcasing your knowledge and experience in the industry.
Make sure you have high ranking keywords to match the required skills/resources and qualifications needed to fulfil the role.
Write an engaging intro which captures you as a person
A CV intro is the first thing hiring managers will read. This is their opportunity to get to know you as a person, outside of your university degree or job title. Here you should share relevant experience, results or goals you’ve built up and achieved. You should apply your skills and personal characteristics to fit the role you’re applying for.
Capture hiring managers by sharing information that will build intrigue or raise question marks.
Form your CV to match the role/industry/company
If you’re hoping to use your CV to stand out, it’s vital that you form your CV to shout suitability. The best way to do this is by forming a new CV for every new role/industry/company – this way you will increase your suitability rating.
Suitability will encourage progression, helping hiring managers envision you within their workplace.
Include suitable experience/skills/qualifications
Many CV’s surpass 2 pages long, listing jobs all the way back from college years. Although this showcases your work ethic, it will not bring value to your application.
We recommend only including valuable experience/skills/qualifications that apply to the job description – helping you truly use your CV to stand out above others.
Offer facts, not fiction
You have minimal time to grasp attention. Fill your CV with facts, results or goals you’ve achieved. This will provide first-hand evidence that you have the potential to replicate results in a new job.
Instead of filling this ever-important space with what you’ve learnt, share exactly what you know and your ability.
Be as creative as you like
Being creative can help you stand out through your CV. This is especially recommended if you’re aiming for a marketing/design/creative/techy role. We’ve witnessed anything from CV’s printed on cereal boxes, infographics, and raps, to social media ads.
Standing out doesn’t have to mean quirky, creative concepts – of course, if you’re confident with this, run with it. Yet, you can most definitely let your CV speak for itself through your copy. Make sure it’s concise, clear and completely reflects who you are as an employer, a colleague and a team player. Include any supporting material to strengthen your application such as a portfolio, website or references.
If you’re looking for support with your CV format, here at Charterhouse Recruitment, we can help. Work with our specialist recruiters to find your next role, by using your CV to stand out in saturated markets. Get in touch today for our latest vacancies!