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7 tips to make your CV stand out from the rest

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Writing a good CV, one which will help you land a job, is an important skill for all students and soon-to-be graduates. Finishing your qualification is pointless if you can’t find a job afterwards. And the way to get a good job is with a killer CV. It should detail all your skills, experience and studies. It has to represent you and explain to a recruiter why you would be the ideal candidate to join their company.

Creating your CV is a very important step to assist you in landing your dream job. You should take part in activities, such as extra-mural activities, to make your CV stand out. But, did you know, it’s actually possible to add information which will worsen your chances of getting that job? The last thing you want to do is send a CV that will turn the recruiter against you.

Here are seven tips to help your CV stand out from the rest.

Start strong

It’s best to start with a summary of your skills and key accomplishments. It’ll attract the hiring manager and grab their attention from the outset. The personal profile is an important part of your CV and will tell the recruiter exactly who you are. So start strong if you want to make the right impression.

Customise for the job you want

You should respond to the job description and explain exactly why you’re the right candidate for the role. Do this by relating your accomplishments to the elements of the position. If you, for instance, did a computer training course, you should list this and all your subjects and achievements on your resume. Especially if it’s a computer-related position you’re applying for. Employers want candidates to understand the role they’re applying for and the more you show you understand, the more your CV will stand out. It might take a bit of time to write your CV, especially when applying for many roles, but if it helps you find the perfect position then it’s time well spent.

Maximise readability

It’s important for your CV to be easy for the reader to scan quickly and effectively. They have many CVs to go through, so they can only spend a certain amount of time on yours. Separate different sections and insert clear section headings. It’s best to avoid long paragraphs and make use of bullet points to break up the text into more manageable chunks. Make sure it’s eye-catching and uncluttered. Also, check for spelling and grammatical errors.

Include a professional profile and goal

If you want your CV to stand out, make sure it consists of a professional profile and goal. These sections should summarise and highlight your key attributes and your intended future career path. Make sure your words flow seamlessly and avoid clichés and superfluous hyperbole. It should only take a few moments to read but should spark the reader’s interest. If you can’t pitch yourself in only a few lines, then you risk losing the reader’s attention. Try to be brief, you can emphasise examples in later sections.

Show industry insight

An awareness of the industry you’re applying to work in will show the hiring manager you can stay on top of trends. You’ll be a lot more attractive to employers if you’re able to show knowledge of the industry. So make make sure you’re up to date with any news and industry changes. It’ll also help you if you reach the interview stage.

Include achievements where possible

If you can include an achievement section on your CV, then it can make an instant and dramatic difference to the power of your resume. It’ll enable you to distinguish yourself from other candidates. This isn’t a time for false modesty. Always be honest about your achievements. The same counts for the rest of your CV. The hiring manager will ask you about this and will likely sense whether you’re lying. Utilise the space allocated to highlight where you have excelled and how you plan to achieve similar results on future endeavours.

Keep your CV concise and to the point

You CV should be informative but also concise and to the point. Most companies and positions only require you to have two A4 pages. More than that will be too long. Make sure to only include information which will actually help to sell you and your skills. Hiring managers don’t want to waste time reading details irrelevant to your ability to fulfill the job role.

Don’t spend your entire CV talking about yourself. Instead, talk about how you can help your prospective employer and why you’re the perfect candidate for the position. Allow them to see what you’ll add to the organisation. Remember, they want to hire someone for the position just as badly as you want the job. So make it easy for the recruiter to choose you.

If you make an effort to accommodate these tips when writing your CV, you’ll be well above average.

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