The CV is one of the most important parts of the job hunt. It’s your chance to give a good first impression to the employer, and it will often dictate your chances of making it through to the next stage of the application process.
In many industries, especially at junior or entry-level roles – you’re up against hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of other applicants. So how do you ensure you stand out from the crowd? Ensure you don’t fall at the first hurdle with our five top tips on how to make your CV sparkle!
Tailor your CV to the job
Sending the exact same CV that you’ve already sent to other job applications won’t do you any favours when it comes to impressing an employer. You need to make sure that the CV you’re sending, fits in line with the job description of the role you’re applying for.
A CV is all about selling yourself by emphasizing your skills and experience. If you list ones that aren’t relevant, the employer won’t be able to see how you fit in with the role you’re applying for. Take some time to make sure every CV you send accurately represents your suitability for the position.
Keep it structured and concise
With hundreds of applications being sent to employers, it’s no surprise that they don’t have time to read every single detail on each CV! They’ll most likely scan over each one and only look closely at those that stand out to them.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure you choose an attractive layout when writing your CV. Make sure you structure your ideas, using clear titles and paragraphs. If you’re in an industry such as marketing or design, feel free to get creative and think outside the box to catch the employer’s attention. But be sure to keep it concise: your CV should be no more than 1 or 2 pages. It isn’t a novel after all!
Avoid the obvious
There can be quite a few clichés when it comes to CV writing, even down to the words people use for self-promotion. LinkedIn career expert Christopher Sandford has said:
“The language we use says a lot about us, so it’s important to choose your words carefully, especially in a professional context. Too often we hide behind buzzwords which don’t mean anything, whether out of a desire to keep things simple, or because we don’t feel confident talking about our work accomplishments.”
Rather than writing that you’re a ‘team player’, reference an example of when you were required to work together as part of a group project. Avoid the cliché buzzwords and distinguish yourself by using the opposite!
Perfect your personal statement
Your personal statement will most likely be the first thing the employer sees when they receive your CV, whether it’s from an email or direct application. Getting this part of your application right is vital if you want them to keep reading on. You should aim for around 150 words.
Firstly, cover who you are and what you can offer the employer, referring back to the job description to help identify any specific skills that they might be looking for. Secondly, make it unique. Place an emphasis on your most interesting, impressive and relevant skills and abilities. Use examples to back up your claims, but don’t overdo it! It needs to be short and simple to keep an employer’s attention.
Use a recruitment agency
Trends have shown that more and more employers are turning to recruitment agencies to find and hire their workforce. If companies are hiring based on behaviour and potential, why do we need a CV?
Using a recruitment agency, such as Cordant People, can be a great way to connect you to your next role. Not only do we offer tips on how to curate your CV, we also make sure your personality stands out to the employer. The demise of the CV has started!
Do you need some career advice? Maybe you’re looking for a new role? Contact your nearest Cordant People branch and let’s start talking about your career!
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