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10 tips to make your CV stand out

Get your CV noticed with help from professional career coach Charlotte Billington.

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Your CV is one of the most important tickets to opening doors early on in your job search. Spend time perfecting it. With competition for good jobs rising; being strategic, clever and purposeful when preparing it will work in your favour.

Having seen hundreds of CV’s over my career my top tips should ensure that yours stands out.

1. Focus your CV on a goal

My first tip starts before you even think about your CV. Spend time clarifying what it is that you want. What is your goal? What roles are you interested in and will they provide you with work satisfaction?

Completing your CV will be easier when you have a focus. It will be stronger and will ensure you are heading in the right direction.

2. Make sure it looks good

Formatting and text/font should be consistent and neat. It should be tested by viewing it on a computer and also on a mobile or tablet device. Saving it as a PDF should help with this.

3. It needs to be easy to read

I would recommend bullet points under each position. The most recent or relevant jobs having slightly more bullet points. Long lengthy paragraphs will unlikely be read.

HR and recruiters will not spend a long time reading long paragraphs. Your profile statement at the top of your CV should also be relatively short, 2 or 3 sentences.

It should cover who you are, (e.g. senior account manager) how many years’ experience you have, and perhaps a couple more specifics about your relevant experience and what you are now looking for.

4. Make it relevant

Think about what your audience wants to hear. Look at job specs and match your CV as closely as you can to them. Even put the most relevant information as the top few bullet points so the relevant information is found quickly.

5. Summarise your skills

Consider a skills box at the top of your CV under your profile statement. This shows a snapshot of your relevant skills, which a recruiter will want to see.


Want to boost your job search? Get expert advice from these articles:

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6. Size does matter

I would recommend 2 pages. You may want your contact details to appear on each page in case the pages get misplaced.

7. Quantify

What do you do, what have you produced, what difference have you made. It will impress your audience, if you can quantify your achievements with figures, percentages or turnover.

8. Check and double check

Ask at least two other people to read through your CV for errors, typos or fluency. There is no excuse for mistakes.

Check your tenses too at the start of your bullet points. Your current job should start in the present tense e.g. managing, leading and previous in the past managed, led. An obvious one but a mistake I often see.

9. Put in your interests

They can often be a talking point. However, watch out for those that may not assist you.

10. Tailor it

Tailor your CV for each job you are interested in. Study the job, company and anything else you can find. Search online, ask your recruiter and then make sure the key things they are looking for (if you have the experience) are prominent on your CV.

In summary, my key advice is to keep your CV succinct, relevant, and easy to read. Also, make sure your online presence is equally as strong and you will be giving yourself an excellent head start.

If you can get an introduction or can use your network or networks’ network try that first. Let people know what it is exactly that you are looking for.

Wishing you the best of luck with your job search.


Get your CV noticed:

Visit our Careers Advice pages for more free CV templates.

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5 Comments

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  1. KENNETH MACKAY Saturday, 21 Jan, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Could you please sort out my cv for m.

    Thank you
    Kenneth.

  2. Mohammed Farook Saturday, 21 Jan, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    useful tips

  3. Eroma Perera Saturday, 21 Jan, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Dear Charlotte,

    Thank you for the valuable advise concerning cv boost. I like to know if there are professionals who can assist with creating a good cv. Are you ware of such services. Any advise on this matter much appreciated

    Best Regards

    Eroma

  4. Roger Jennings Monday, 30 Jan, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Could you advise me me on how to strengthen my CV

    Regards

    Roger Jennings

  5. Tariq Shad Thursday, 13 Apr, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    It is very useful and vlueable tips for a good cv thats why we can strengthen our CV.
    Thank you very much very well indeed.
    Regards

    Tariq Shad
    London

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