There is a lot of debate over what makes a CV stand out. Some say keep it to one page; others do not care about how long it is as long as the details are there. Our advice is to show your CV to multiple people, firms and colleagues to get their feedback. Go with the common threads, and incorporate these three key recommendations:
1. Personalize your CV.
Nothing shows you are enthusiastic and prepared like a personalized CV to the job, industry, and/or employer you are applying for. This is the first chance you have to make a positive impression with an employer, so make it stand out! Keep your CV fresh and relevant even while you are employed, as you never know when something may come up and it’s easier to remember all your accomplishments right after you achieve them.
Open the job posting on one side of your screen and open your CV on the other. Insert key words and phrases from the job advert to your resume – that is, if they ring true for you! Should you do this every time? Yes! Applying for jobs takes effort, but a targeted approach will get you noticed a lot faster!
2. Remember the proof is in the details.
More than half of the CVs we come across look very similar. Dates, accomplishments, deliverables, numbers and job functions are more important than job descriptions and lengthy lists of responsibilities. For example, if you are a mechanical engineer and your job is primarily involved in testing and quality control, highlight the volume of work you do, the type of technology you used, results from tests and any other information that may set you apart from the crowd. Most people applying for the same job as you may have similar experience to you – but have they accomplished what you have?
3. Be honest.
All good relationships have a solid foundation that is built through honesty and trust. If you were laid off in a company downsizing, or your contract was terminated, that is okay. Hiring managers and recruiters are great at poking holes in your CV so if you fill in these gaps, it will make you a stronger candidate. If you managed a team of two, don’t say it was a team of seven. Speak only to true accomplishments, be humble and have great connections at the ready that can verify your statements.
We hope this can help you improve your CV and get you noticed in your job search. Do you have any questions or some practices to share in writing CVs that have helped you out? Please comment in our social feeds; we’d be happy to hear from you.