5 steps to make your CV stand out
Make an effort to accommodate these five points when writing your CV and you’ll immediately be well above average.
1) Maximise readability
It is essential for your CV to be easy for the reader to scan quickly and effectively. You need to separate different sections and insert clear section headings. Avoid long paragraphs; use bullet pointing to break up text into more manageable ‘bite-size’ chunks. It should be eye-catching and uncluttered. Check vigilantly for spelling and grammatical errors.
2) Include a Professional Profile and Objective
These sections should summarise and emphasise your key attributes and your intended future career path. Your words must flow seamlessly – avoiding cliché and superfluous hyperbole. They should each only be a few lines in length but they must spark the reader’s interest. If you can’t successfully ‘pitch’ yourself in under ten lines then you risk losing the reader’s attention. Be brief – you can highlight examples in later sections. But be persuasive.
3) Include achievements where possible
If you can include an "achievements" section then it can make an instant and dramatic difference to the power of your CV, enabling you to distinguish yourself from other candidates. This is no time for false modesty. Utilise the space allocated to highlight where you have excelled – and how you plan to attain similar results on future endeavours.
4) Keep your CV concise and to-the-point
Your CV should be informative – but also concise. In general, two A4 pages is a maximum. Too many CVs are quite simply too long. Only include information which will actually help to sell you. Recruiters don’t want to waste time reading details irrelevant to your ability to fulfil the job role.
5) Target/Tailor your CV
If possible, tailor your CV according to the specific vacancy for which you are applying. Whilst many people use a general CV designed to suit any position they are applying for, greater success can always be achieved by tailoring your CV according to the needs of the specific role to which you are applying. It stands to reason that every job and every organisation are different, and every CV should therefore also be subtly different.