5 tips to make your CV stand out!
Your Curriculum Vitae is a valuable footprint which should tell the story of YOU! You should always start off simple. A word document with a bullet point list including your education, training, experience and achievements is a great starting point and will allow you to have laser focus, ensuring you can showcase the best of you in your final draft.
To help you get there, I have 5 tips which will help you create a CV which is going to stand out!
Keywords are vital!
The main goal of a great CV is to keep the attention of the person who is reading. Keywords are essential for getting past the first hurdle of computerised screening tools and in addition to this, Recruiters and hiring managers read CVs in their sleep! They are trained speed readers and if you don’t have information that jumps off the page, they will lose interest fast.
Descriptions of previous employment should be brief, concise and reflective of what you did, but more importantly, how it is relevant to the job you are applying to.
Using keywords should be made a priority. Consider the type of work you want to be considered for and structure the wording of your CV around this. If it is for a very specific position, you should read the job spec and change your language to be reflective of theirs.
Long and wordy text is very off putting so be sure to keep it punchy using those Keywords!
Create your own brand
The ‘about you’ section of your CV can be critical to being successful in a job application. This section is meant to give the recruiter or hiring manager an idea of who you are and what experience you have to date.
You should avoid having too much text here. Using tip number 1 for some guidance, keywords will be your best friend here.
However, before delving into your CV you should take a few minutes to write your ‘Why’.
Why did you choose this area of work/study? Why do you enjoy it? Why are you looking to change positions?
If you know your why, writing your CV will become something of pride, rather than a piece of paper or a digital document that you have no true connection to.
Everyone adds some flourish to their CV to make it stand out but you will need that ‘why’ to do that while also keeping it authentic, which is very important!
Tell the story of your career so far and where you want it to go
Your experience to date is important and will give the reader a better understanding of where you would be the best fit.
The first thing you should make sure is that your most recent employment is the first thing the reader sees.
Next, you will want to make sure that your job title tells its own story. Break it down so that it isn’t just the title itself – you don’t want it to be so generic that the reader loses interest.
Once you get into the job descriptions you should make sure the dates are correct, explain any gaps (family/training/travel etc.), and present it in clear bullet points to make it easier for the reader.
Lastly, your experience should reflect the type of work that you want to get. Work your experience into what you are looking for and if it’s for a particular role, match the skills and experience or show that yours are transferable!
Give your skills context
You’ve told the reader about your experience, but now you will want to highlight your skills.
Soft skills such as teamwork and adaptability are great to have but hard skills such as editing using Premiere Pro or lighting using an ION desk should be presented first and foremost.
Don’t simply list your skills, give them context! You want the reader to get a better understanding of your level and how suitable you might be for the role.
My final tip is to be authentic!
Show the reader that you have interests and hobbies, these give them a great insight into the type of person you are and could even be the deciding factor in whether you get called for an interview or not.
Try and not include generic hobbies just to fill the space, push yourself to make these things that you are truly passionate about. Similarly, you should include achievements which show that you are relevant and valuable. How have you contributed to the success of the team/business?
These two sections show off who you are and what you can bring to the table. To make the biggest impact you need to be authentic.
If you follow these 5 tips while writing your CV you’ll be sure to see the difference it makes. Having confidence in your CV and not feeling overwhelmed by the interview process due to a fear of forgetting what you wrote on it in the first place can be the key to your success.