The job-seeking market is becoming more and more saturated. Recruiters receive hundreds, maybe even thousands, of CVs for advertised posts. Fashioning your CV right puts you a step closer to landing up on top of the pile instead of at the bottom. Here are a few tips on how to make your CV stand out.
The first thing to do in order to make your CV stand out, is to know what details to include and what details to leave out. There are details to add, such as your contact information; and there are details to leave out, such as your hobbies. Do not overpopulate your CV with unnecessary information as recruiters do not read CVs in detail.
2. Clarity and Structure
As mentioned above, recruiters do not read CVs in detail. They begin by ‘scanning’ the CVs received and only those that catch their attention upon first reading will be examined more closely. Choose a simple layout that is clear and easy to understand.
3. Avoid Decorations
A CV is a professional document. And thus, it needs to look the part. Don’t go overboard trying to make your CV stand out. Stay away from eccentric fonts, colors, and fancy borders. Keep it simple and clear.
4. Keep It Short
Because recruiters do not read CVs in full at first, your CV should be concise. Make sure the document doesn’t exceed 1 to 2 pages of an A4. Be specific and to the point with your details.
5. Tailor Your CV
Do not make a generic CV for all applications. Assess each job advert before applying and make sure that your CV is highlighting the most important requirements for each one. One of the ways to effectively tailor your CV is to use your core skills to reflect the requirements in the specific job advert.
6. Focus on Your Current/Most Recent Experience
Recruiters are more likely to focus on your most recent role. This is why it is imperative that you provide enough and clear details to explain it fully. With that said, remember to get to the point and avoid giving unnecessary details.
7. Work in chronological order
Recruiters are mostly interested in your most recent work to assess your current capabilities, so start your CV with your most recent role to ensure it receives immediate attention. This also applies to your education, the most recent information is the most important. Always put it first.
8. Use Word Format
Recruiters may need to quickly make edits to your CV before sending it to the hiring manager. An example of such an instance is when the organization requires CVs to be in a specific company standard format. Sending your CV in Word means it is readily editable and recruiters will be able to get your CV across to hiring managers more quickly than if you had sent in PDF or any other format. This will help you to get your CV in front of decision-makers before other candidates.
9. Proofread your CV
It only takes one spelling or grammar mistake to make a recruiter doubt your credibility, so proofread your CV 2 or 3 times before taking it to the job market. If English isn’t your first language or you simply are not confident in your use of grammar, try a free proofreading tool like Grammarly.
10. Your Contact Information
Recruiters need to be able to find your contact details with ease. Make sure that you put them at the top of the first page. This will make it easy for them to find your contacts should they need to contact you.