It’s a tough job market out there. More than ever, it’s vital to have a CV that gets your foot in the door. Thankfully, we have 5 simple hacks for helping you create a CV that gives you an edge when applying for your dream job.
1. Focus on your achievements
Far more than wanting to know what you did in your day-to-day work at the office, your potential employer wants to know what sets you apart from everyone else doing the same job. That’s why it’s important to highlight your achievements in each role. List any growth you’ve contributed to, leadership position you’ve held, key team wins, and any performance awards or awards of recognition. Providing a clear picture of what you’ve already achieved and what you can bring to the role will set you ahead in your job search.
2. All experience is good experience
Don’t just include your day-to-day work experience. Broaden your scope to your activities outside of work too. Are you taking a class for your personal development? Include it. Do you volunteer somewhere in your free time? Include it. Have a personal project that you work on when you can? Include that too. There are transferrable skills in everything. Recognising and including these will give you the edge when applying.
3. Customise your content
Don’t just use the same wording for every role you’re applying for. Look for what each potential employer is asking for. Read each job spec or advert carefully and make note of the most important specifications listed. Then, tweak your CV to make sure that these things stand out. Each role and each company is unique, and your CV and applications should reflect this.
4. Pay attention to formatting
Your CV needs to be as easy to read as possible as quickly as possible. As such, things like an untidy, hard-to-follow layout could cause a potential employer to miss important info. Here are some small things to look out for:
- Colour: Adding a strategic pop of colour not only makes your CV more eye-catching, but can actually help make it easier to follow. Using it for section headings, or as a background on aspects of your CV that you would really like to highlight is a great way to make sure that your CV stands out.
- Fonts: Stick to one or maximum two easy-to-read fonts. Don’t put anything in all-caps except your headings. Ensure that the font you choose portrays a professional image.
- Layout: Make sure everything is neatly aligned, that section titles are clearly visible, and that your line spacing allows for easy reading. The less hassle your CV is to read, the more information your potential employer can absorb and hold on to.
If you are not sure how to make your CV stand out from a layout point of view, utilising a CV formatting service such as our CV Revamp Service is a great way to get professional insight and a design to make your CV pop.
5. Be selective when applying
Don’t just apply to every role you see. Assess each job spec or advert you see and ask yourself if this is something you really want to do. Applying for roles that you aren’t passionate about or aren’t that excited for is a waste of your time, the recruiter’s time, and the potential employer’s time. Make sure that you know what you want from your next role. Then focus your energy and the content of your CV on those roles that you really want. This will prevent burnout on your job search and will give you a higher chance at securing a position where you can thrive.
Your CV is your first impression. While there’s no right or wrong way to put together a CV, by making some simple tweaks to your content and layout you can create a first impression that stands out. This isn’t the time to be shy or self-conscious – you are selling your value as a potential employee. Make sure that what you put on your CV shows you are the kind of candidate a potential employer would regret not giving a second look.