Advances in tech mean that everything is available at the touch of a button, things move so fast these days. CV trends change with time too, one thing that hasn’t changed though, is how quick a hiring manager or recruiter will sift through your CV to see if it warrants any time spent on it.

One thing potential employers like, have always liked and will always like, is clear concise design that gives the reader exactly what they want. They don’t want any HR jargon and it should just be to the point, i.e the numbers, what you’ve specifically achieved and so on.

Let’s take a look at ways you can make your CV stand out from the 100’s sometimes 1000’s of CV’s that recruiters need to sift through for your potential new job. This is information coming straight from recruiters and hiring managers.

Ensure the top is doing you justice
Start with the top of the CV as this is what the recruiter or hiring manager will first look at, if they like what they see they will read the rest of the CV. Another point to note is, they will only give that top part of your CV a few seconds, so it is extremely important that you get their attention. Here you will usually list things like your phone number and address etc but it is important that you list your linkedin and any personal website that will give your CV a boost. Times have moved on from the days of Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL and so should you, get yourself a gmail address and put that on there.

 

Promote yourself rather than show what you’re looking for
Recruiters and hiring managers are like customers, you are trying to sell yourself to them. What kind of sales techniques works best? Showing them what is in it for them, what ROI will they get offering you an interview and subsequently offering you the job. Show what you can do for them, what they are missing out on if they don’t give you a chance. What makes you qualified to do this job, sales figures, any other KPI’s you may have been measured by, impact you’ve had on the business in the past, formal and further education and so on. The same information listed under the header should also be listed on your linkedin, that is basically a virtual CV that employers will look at and it should be consistent with what you have listed on the CV you’ve given in.

 

Format should mirror what kind of job and company you’re applying to
Format of your CV will show if it has had time spent on it or just put together, mish mashed with no flow. It should be crisp, clear and to the point, relevant to the job spec and industry you are applying to. An Accountant applying for the role of an Audits Manager will have a completely different look and feel to their CV to a Marketing Manager looking to take on the role of Head of Marketing. A bit of colour in the Marketing Manager’s CV may go down a treat, the same effect for an Audits Manager may be frowned upon.

Emphasise your skills and performance
This goes back to ROI again, what are the company actually after. It may be obvious from the job spec and if it isn’t, pick up the phone. Getting in touch with the right people, talking with confidence about a role will show determination and will give you a good idea of what kind of candidate they are looking for. Then you can look over your previous achievements, the skill set you have acquired over the years and list what actually matters. A job spec will list skills and experience they are looking for, don’t be afraid of filling these words into your CV (as long as you’re not lying of course). Boring, overused HR jargon which won’t work with the different types of software used to scan CV’s or the hiring managers going over them are phrases such as ‘hard worker’, ‘team player’ and my personal favourite ‘customer centric’.

Listing hard facts, numbers, promotions, successful projects you have worked on etc will get you a much better reaction from whoever is reading your CV. List what you actually did, be specific, ‘helped manage the team to achieve x amount of sales’ just isn’t going to cut it. How did you manage the team? Did you delegate work? What was your percentage of sales and how high was your target.

 

When listing your work experience don’t show obvious tasks you performed
Day to day tasks that are mundane and show nothing special are not needed on a CV, if you were an accountant, does a hiring manager really need to know you prepared the accounts? What did you do that was outside of your job role? How did you make a difference? Did you ever go beyond what was expected of you? How? This is where the stats come in, you can show how you smashed your targets or how you were awarded certain projects because of your performance on a certain task.

 

 

Never underestimate the power of a good CV, spend time on it – get help from people that specialise in it if you can. Use the tips above to craft yourself a great CV that stands out from the rest. GSY