There are certain rules about how to create a good CV – keep it relatively short and easy to read, include all your qualifications and experience, and introduce yourself to your prospective employers.
But is that enough to stand out from the crowd? What can you do to make sure your application gets the attention it deserves in a job market where employers are inundated with countless applications for each vacancy?
A well-crafted resume should showcase your qualifications and experience but also distinguish you from other candidates. So how can you write your CV to make it stand out? Follow our tips below:
A cluttered or overly complex CV can be overwhelming for recruiters. Use a clean, professional format with consistent fonts and sizes, with clear headings, and make sure your curriculum vitae has a balanced and visually appealing layout. Simple CV templates and layouts are available online but remember to customise it to some extent rather than making it look like you’ve simply adapted a stock CV template.
Use bullet points for easy readability, although try not to overdo it. Start each bullet point with a powerful, active word to convey a sense of achievement and initiative. Strong verbs such as ‘achieved’, ‘implemented’, or ‘managed’ can make your experiences more dynamic and engaging.
Keep your resume concise and focused on the most relevant information. Aim for a document length of one to two pages, emphasising quality over quantity. Try to avoid including unnecessary details that may detract from your key qualifications.
Ensure that your curriculum vitae aligns with your online presence, including LinkedIn. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated with a professional photo, detailed work history and recommendations. Many employers cross-reference CVs with online profiles, so consistency is key.
Start your CV with a compelling personal statement that succinctly summarises you and your career objectives, your skills, and what you can bring to the table. This section is your chance to make a memorable first impression, so be concise yet impactful.
Read the job description carefully and align your skills and experiences with the specific requirements of the position. Highlight relevant achievements and use keywords from the job listing to demonstrate that you are a perfect fit.
Outline your education details and key skills. This makes it easy for employers to quickly identify your strengths and qualifications. Consider bullet pointing your skills to provide a clear overview of your technical, analytical and interpersonal abilities.
Rather than merely listing previous jobs and your duties, focus on your accomplishments in each role. Quantify your achievements with specific numbers or percentages when possible. This not only demonstrates your impact on previous employers but also provides tangible evidence of your capabilities. Whether it's increasing sales, completing projects ahead of schedule, or managing a team of a specific size, quantifying your impact adds credibility to your claims.
Demonstrate your commitment to growth by including any relevant courses, certifications or workshops you've completed. This indicates to employers that you are proactive in staying updated with industry trends and enhancing your skills.
Make sure you include both the hard and soft skills that are relevant to the job. Hard skills are those such as certifications, awards, training and recognised personal development programmes you’ve undertaken, while soft skills are things like communication, teamwork or leadership. Together they present a well-rounded picture of your abilities.
Where there is room, incorporate volunteer experiences and extracurricular activities that showcase your skills and character. This not only adds depth to your curriculum vitae but also demonstrates your commitment to community engagement and personal development.
Depending on your field, consider creating an online portfolio or including work samples that showcase your skills and accomplishments. This can provide tangible evidence of your capabilities and set you apart from other candidates.
End your CV with a strong closing statement or a call to action. Reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and express your eagerness to discuss how your skills align with the company's needs in an interview.
Check that your contact details are correct, clear and easy to find, then proofread the whole thing at least twice through. A resume with typos or grammatical errors can leave a negative impression. Check it meticulously and ask a trusted friend or colleague to review it as well. A fresh set of eyes can catch errors that you might have missed and give valuable feedback on how easy it is to read.
A good CV layout requires a combination of customisation, clarity and a strategic presentation of your skills and experiences. By considering those factors, you can create a compelling CV that captures the attention of employers and increases your chances of standing out in the competitive job market.
If you need help putting together a CV that stands out from the rest, the team at ACS Staffing Solutions can help. Contact us online or call 01604 704058 to talk to a member of the team.
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