Your CV is one of the most important components of your job search - you can’t control the number of jobs in the field you want to enter, or the current state of the economy, but you can control the first thing recruiters see from you. Recruiters only spend seven seconds on average looking at your CV, so it needs to stand out immediately. Here are a few of inploi’s top tips on how to make sure that your CV stands out.
Find what makes you special
Most people will want to avoid appearing boastful, especially when it comes to the workplace, but it’s very important to sell yourself on your CV. After all, many people who are under-qualified for a given position won’t hesitate to do the same!
When at work, many people can have a tendency to brush off compliments from coworkers out of bashfulness, but these can be useful to remember when putting together an application, because they are often a sign of positive qualities which you yourself haven’t paid enough attention to. If you’re a good listener, a very efficient worker, or great at keep track of many different tasks at once, that could be something to shout about.
Back up your claims
It’s very easy for anybody to claim that you are a diligent worker or that you are good working in teams. If you want the person reading the CV to be convinced that you have these qualities, you’re going to need to provide some evidence for them, quantifiable if possible. For example, if you were able to make your team more productive, record exactly how much more by, rather than just saying that you were a good leader. The more specific you can be, the more impressively your achievements will come across.
Tailor your CVs
This is possibly one of the more time consuming items on this list, but also potentially one of the most game changing. If you’re a decent way into your career, you’ll have lots of different pieces of experience to choose from, but a limited amount of space on your CV. Recruiters are looking for specific experience for specific jobs, for a candidate who has relevant detail on their resume. So, make sure to highlight previous roles which are relevant to the one you’ve applied to.
Get the basics right
To stand out, your CV doesn't just have to have all the bells and whistles, it needs to have a solid foundation too. And in some ways, getting the basics right is actually a way to stand out - it’s been estimated that 58% of all resumes contain errors. So if you can make sure that your CV is error free you’ll put yourself ahead of half the field. When surveys have shown that 77% of employers will immediately toss out a CV with bad grammar or spelling errors, a spell check can go a very long way.
Include the Keywords
Related to tailoring your CV to the position at hand, but not quite the same, is making absolutely certain to include the key words from the application in your CV. You might include experience that is relevant to the job you’re applying for but still forget to do this, but it is extremely important given the sheer number of companies that use Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS. It has been found that at least 75% of recruiters or hiring professionals use an ATS to screen CVs and discard those which aren’t relevant. If you want your CV to get through this filtering stage, stay laser focused on the job description.
And there you have it, this has been inploi’s guide to making a standout CV. We hope you’ve found it useful in your job hunt. If so, follow inploi’s community page here, for more tips on how to navigate the world of work.