Irrespective of what job you are applying for or how many applications you’re sending, it is vital that your CV is an accurate, appealing and succinct representation of what you are all about.
Here are some easy and effective tips to make your CV look attractive and stand out from the crowd:
Use a Professional Format
Your CV is an extension of who you are, and the reality is you are being examined by prospective employers based on what they can see on paper. Hence, your CV should always have a professional look and feel. This can be done by employing these techniques:
- Using a font size 11 or 12 will make your CV clear and readable.
- You should stick to Times New Roman or Arial font (or similar).
- You should also stick to black ink and stay away from fancy colours and fonts.
Provide a Correct and Specific Objective
Always begin your CV with a clear and concise objective. To create this, take note of the company’s needs, culture and goals and build your profile around that. Try and personalize your applications as much as possible.
Highlight Your Educational History
This is very important and often overlooked. You must include where you studied, what course you did, and any educational qualifications and achievements in your CV.
Enumerate Specific Experiences
Apart from including your education in your CV, your work experiences are naturally essential. Add your past jobs, any accomplishments, value add and the difference you made to your previous employers. You could use numbers and percentages in this area to highlight your achievements and really make them stand out e.g. “I increased productivity / efficiency by 78%”.
Showcase Your Skills
If you want your CV to stand out, you must make sure you include your skills and qualities that make you different. Adding differentiators, no matter how small can be incredibly effective in making your CV more attractive to the hiring manager.
Include Testimonials from Previous Employers
The best way to show that you are worthy of the job is by providing testimonials from your old boss, former colleagues, or clients. With the emergence of LinkedIn and other business / social media this is now far easier to achieve.
Check for Any Grammatical or Spelling Errors – And check again!
Apart from making sure you follow the proper layout; your CV should also be free from grammatical and spelling errors. Before forwarding it, read it out loud and check at least twice. After all, a slight mistake could leave a bad impression to a potential employer. Don’t forget that your CV is an extension of who you are and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Maintain an Online Profile
Now that in our world having a social media account is practically essential, ensure that you have your own online profile too and it’s not just limited to a Facebook or Instagram account. Having a LinkedIn profile is a good place to start because it shows more professional awareness and engagement with your space. Make sure your social media accounts follow proper decorum and anything that is represented there is suitable for an employer (or potential employer) to view!
Keep Your CV Up to Date
Finally, don’t forget to update your CV if you have new skills, experiences, or qualifications to include so that you can showcase your professional development. This way, you won’t forget vital details that not only makes your CV attractive but could also help boost your chances of being hired.On average, every role attracts at least 125 applications but only 4 to 6 of these people will be called for an interview, and only 1 of those will be given a job. Make sure you have an unfair advantage and get your CV in the best shape it can be in!