With headlines revealing that as many as 4,228 candidates apply for one entry-level job, you need your CV to stand out from the crowd. Specifically, you need it to stand out for the right reasons though.
Once you’ve followed the basic general rules of CV writing, what can you do to make your CV wow the hiring manager and get you invited for interview?
Ditch the wrong reasons
It’s tempting to glam-up your CV. The thoughts of fancy fonts, dynamic colours and even interactive elements can get the better of you when you are sat up late at night considering what to do.
However, this is very much not the way to go. CVs that visually deviate too much from the norm instantly get filed in the bin. The elements that make you stand out run deeper.
Check out our sample of a visually impacting, but also visually appropriate example CV template.
So, how do you do it?
1. Top load
Think of the first third of the first page of your CV as the juicy worm on the fisherman’s hook. This area of your CV needs to be impactful, so really focus your attention here.
Use a personal statement and make it punchy and specific. No waffle, but make sure you inject your personality and showcase your skills.
2. Use numbers
Numbers have story-telling power. Demonstrate your successes in numbers. For example, state how you saved your company X amount of money.
Numbers also have the benefit of standing out from the text and being memorable.
3. Understand keywords
If you received 4,228 CVs for one vacancy, would you read them all in person? Applicant tracking software is a fact-of-job-hunting-life and you need to understand it. It does the short-listing for the recruiting team.
In your CV you need to make sure that you use relevant keywords which likely match with the person specification being used to assess candidates. In this way, your CV will automatically tick the right boxes in order to land on the desk of an actual human.
4. Focus on results not duties
The hiring manager doesn’t want to read a list of micro job descriptions when reading your career history. They want to read how you excelled in doing those responsibilities.
So, word your experience in terms of how you brought success and achievement to a task, not just the nature of the task itself.
5. Highlight your potential
Lastly, don’t just show what you can do. Convey that you are someone who changes, grows and develops within the specific industry. This means you need to carefully word your CV to demonstrate industry insight and knowledge of what’s needed for the future. You round it off by showing that you can be part of that future, and not just a person in a role today.
If you follow these tips then your CV will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. You’ll be noticed and remembered because your CV actually paints an accurate picture of who you are, what you can do, and where you will go.
When you’ve got your CV ready to stand out, zip it over to us by using the Submit CV button.