How to Make Your CV Stand Out
The job market has had a turbulent few years. Although, the start of the year produced a record number of vacancies, the market is still highly competitive. On average every advertised job receives a staggering 118 applications, with only 20% of applicants going on to interview. Meaning it has never been more important to have a standout CV.
Before getting to how you can help make your CV stand out, there are a few sections that should always be included in your CV. These include:
- Contact information – this should ideally be your contact number and email address; you may also wish to add links to your LinkedIn
- Personal statement – this should be an overview of who you are, why you are suited to the role and what your career objectives look like
- Work experience -detail who you have worked for, the length of employment and an overview of responsibilities(only include the last 10 years’ worth of employment)
- Education – your highest-level academic achievements; a brief overview of where you studied, what you have studied and what grade(s) you achieved
- Skills – outline what skills you have either directly relevant to the role or transferrable skills.
Emphasis results over responsibilities
To help make your CV more memorable, it’s useful to emphasize results over responsibilities – by detailing the results you achieved during your current or previous employment, you demonstrate that you have quantifiable data of your accomplishments. So, for example, instead of saying “I increased sales for X company” write, “I increased sales by 25% for X company”.
Customise your CV to the job you are applying for
Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for to not only highlight your most relevant skills and experience, but also to show you have a strong understanding of the role you are applying for to and why you are a suitable candidate.
Use relevant keywords
It’s important not to go overboard with keywords, but they should be at the forefront of your mind when putting your CV together. Many employers and recruiters use keywords when searching for candidates or if they’re using an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), so it is important to make your CV conducive to these search methods to ensure your application is found. You can look at the company website and the job description / person specification to find specific words and phrases you think the employer will be searching for. If you are using your CV to apply to different types of jobs you can make your keywords slightly broader, but they can also be tailored to each industry or specific role.
Don’t be afraid to step outside the box. When an employer is looking through potentially hundreds of applications, having a CV look different to the norm is a great way to draw attention. You could even go as far as sending a physical CV or a video CV explaining why you are a good fit for the role.