A strong, well-written CV will take you a long way in the early stages of your job hunt. And a successful CV will sell you as a capable and adaptable professional in the ever-changing job market.
But hiring managers and recruiters can receive hundreds of CVs for one role alone, particularly when it’s a popular or great job. So you should assume the everyone else (i.e. your competition) will be submitting very high quality CVs too.
So how to do you stand out from the pack?
Here are 10 highly useful tips to consider before you start applying for a new job.
- Is your CV impactful? Would it blow you away if you were hiring? By stepping back and putting yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager or recruiter, be critical in editing, removing or changing any information in your CV. When you read over it again, your CV should have ticked most skill requirements, gave you a strong impression of this person and leave you wanting to know more.
- Does your CV explain how you achieved your outcomes? Providing a focused list of achievements and outcomes is great for your CV. But by taking it one step further and explaining exactly how you executed it or how you came to achieve great results will give your prospective employer a better idea of how you work and solve problems.
- Does your CV look generic? If your resume does not have much formatting, firstly, consider using better heading such as “Achievements” that are easy to see if someone was skim-reading your CV.
- Inject some creativity and design into your CV. Use a free site like Canva, which can transform your plain CV into a well-designed document.
- Do you sound like everyone else? Again, take a critical stance and decide whether you sound like everyone else applying for the role. However, this is not a bad place to start since you’ll need to ensure you include all your relevant strengths and skills. Once you have edited down your relevant experience and skills, see if you can strengthen the language by incorporating action verbs, power phrases and positive words.
- Does your CV let your personality come through? It’s hard to include any additional information outside of your work experience and achievements since that alone will take up a lot of space. But there are subtle ways to include your personality. At the end of your resume, before you list your referees, you can include a line for “Hobbies and Interests”. Here, you can list things like: Swimming, arthouse foreign films and travel.
- Do you have a website or online portfolio you can include in your CV? Tied to the idea of getting more of your personality into your resume, perhaps you should consider building a quick website or online portfolio using a free or paid site builders or blog platforms.
- Have you checked your CV against the industry benchmark? By this, we mean, get on LinkedIn and find professionals already working in the same role you are applying for.
- Can you personalise it further? Yes, it’s time-consuming but just by evening mentioning the name of the company in your CV’s Executive Summary, for example, you’re showing the hiring manager or recruiter that this is the role and company you are targeting for a new job.
- Can you push the CV format to blow minds? This approach will mainly be useful for those working in digital, tech and creative fields. For example, a designer may submit an infographic-style CV since illustration skills may be a key requirement for the job. Or for those in digital, some candidates will design an interactive resume to be viewed in a browser or as its own program.
By tailoring your CV by using some of the fresh approaches above, you’re sure to impress hiring managers and recruiters, and stand out from the hundreds of same-same CVs that they sift through every single day.
If you’ve considered these tips, refreshed your CV and ready to start applying for a new job, take a look at the current opportunities available or get in touch with a specialist Page Personnel recruiter today.