To help get your new year job search off to a strong start, we’ve put together our top 5 tips for writing a stand-out CV. Follow each one and you’ll give yourself the best chance possible of securing an interview.
1: Stay focused on the role you want
Don’t be tempted to try and impress everyone with a broad CV as this is likely to weaken your appeal to target employers.
Get down to some serious research on the roles you are most interested in so that you understand exactly what employers are looking for. Make sure that your relevant skills are clearly highlighted in the opening section of your CV for maximum impact.
Remember! Only include your most highly relevant skills and knowledge in your introduction. You can add further information later under your Career Summary.
2: Make a lasting first impression
Recruiters regularly receive hundreds of applications for each job vacancy, so you make sure that your CV grabs their attention from the start. Head up your CV with a no-nonsense Professional Profile. This should be a short summary of your roles and experience. Create a clear and concise bullet point list of Core Skills outlining what you have to offer. Remember! Make sure that your profile reflects the requirements of the specific role and you list your core skills in priority order according to the job specification.
3: Be accurate
Nowadays, just one mistake on a CV can cause recruiters to doubt your credibility. Make sure that all dates line up with the relevant job title in your employment history and add the locations as well as the company name. For example, if you’ve had jobs in Bangkok or New York, make sure you say so, as many businesses have multiple international offices. Use professional language and use an appropriate email address. Nickname email addresses will lose you serious credibility points! Triple check your spelling and grammar for any mistakes. Remember! If you’ve managed to grab the recruiter’s attention, don’t let poor use of language, grammar or spelling let you down.
4: Prove yourself
If you really want to stand out, give your potential employers some solid reasons for hiring you. Facts and figures really help recruiters to understand and quantify the type of impact you have made so far in your career. Add a bullet point list of Key Achievements which might include leadership and training, time/budget savings, increased revenue generation or your ability to consistently meet targets/deadlines.
Expand on your achievements and core skills with a persuasive Cover Letter but remember to keep this concise and relevant to the specific role. You only need to write just enough to persuade the reader to open your CV. Remember! Keep it brief! An effective cover letter needs only to be a few sentences in length. Facts and figures are best understood in bullet point form.
5: Make it easy to read
Many recruiters will be instantly turned off if your CV is difficult to read. A clearly laid out CV will help them skim the information they are looking for, quickly and easily. Use a simple and easy to read font such as Arial, Tahoma or Calibri throughout. Don’t be tempted to mix and match fonts for titles or sub-headings as this can look quite messy. Divide your CV into logical sections using bold text for headings, consistent spacing between sections and paragraphs, and keep all borders even for any text boxes or underlines that you use.
Break the text up with short, sharp paragraphs and avoid large chunks of text using bullet points instead to help pull out key achievements, facts and figures. Remember! Employers want to find you! Make it easier for them with a clear and to-the-point CV that proves you are no time-waster.
So, there you have it – our top five tips for creating your own stand-out CV. Here at RECRUITdee we’re always happy to help with any CV writing questions or advice on improving your existing CV, so why not get in touch? We’re ready and waiting to help you open the door to your next, exciting role.