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9 CV hints that will make you stand out from the competition
Think of a CV or resume as an insight into yourself on a professional level. The document is something your prospective employer will use to judge your skills, experience and background when making a selection for the role, so it’s important it be both accurate and error-free. Writing a CV can be tricky, but using it to sell yourself effectively will get to the next stage of the job search – an interview. To be certain your CV is as good as it can be, make sure it is:
Clearly aligned with the job description given
The job requirements listed in a job posting are your best asset when shaping your resume to the employer’s requirements. They have listed their key skills that are required for the job for a reason. Use these guidelines to form your CV to match their needs, outlining your experience in these areas and why you are the best candidate.
Focused on your strengths
Don't list every single task you completed on a daily basis in your previous job. Focus instead on the key tasks you carried out that were invaluable to your workplace. Did you meet the daily targets expected of you? Did your efficiency in a set task save your employer money in the long run? Don't be afraid to sell yourself – put modesty aside and outline exactly why your potential new employer should hire you!
A strong, well-written CV will take you a long way in the early stages of your job hunt, and help to sell yourself as a professional in the ever-challenging job market.
Interesting from start to finish
Hiring managers typically read through high volumes of CVs to find the right fit. Due to this, it's imperative to keep the tone and style of your CV professional but also upbeat and energetic. It's best not to go over the top – but try to avoid monotone language where you can. Use compelling “action” words to reel them in - “lead”, “managed”, “assisted” and “completed” are all great words to show you were a team player in your last role. Always be honest about your achievements, and don't shy away from taking credit for great work you have done in the past.
Set out clearly and distinctively
Always include your main contact details and information at the top of your CV (centred looks the most polished). Include your name, address and best contact telephone number, as well as your email address. Follow on with your career history, as this is the part employers will want to examine in depth. Start with your most recent job first and work backwards in time, listing at least 3-4 previous employers if you can. Include your job title, the employer/company name and the dates you worked there (if you are currently employed there write 'December 2013-Present' or similar). Finish with the key responsibilities you performed within the business, any outstanding results you want to showcase and how you helped shape or change the company for the better. Finish off your CV by stating 2-3 professional references and their details, or simply state “References available upon request”.
Clean and readable
Bullet points, lots of white space between important points of reference and a simple, readable font are attractive to the reader and make your CV easier to read. Don't cram your information together – lay it out so that the reader can easily follow your employment history. Three pages is usually a good length for a great CV – you don't want it too scarce with content, but also not too lengthy and exhausting to read either. Before you start tailoring your CV, it’s best to take a look at the job market to see what skills people are looking for. Get in touch with a Page Personnel consultant to get advice on your career search.
- Being easy to read and accessible
- Actively lists your strengths and professional achievements
- Stays upbeat, interested and avoids monotonous language