5 useful tips to make your CV stand out
So, you have created your CV, but it’s not standing out amongst other CV’s . According to the Mashable website this could be because your “Experience” section is too generic, that you are focusing too much on experience and a few other factors. Based on this article, I’ve decided to give you 5 useful tips to make your CV stand out, so here goes…
1. Brand the “Experience” section on your CV: Creating one “experience” section on your CV is not a bad idea if you don’t have much experience, but if you have worked at a lot of companies and in a lot of fields, branding the experience you have might not be a bad idea.
Customize this section of your CV to “Sales Experience” or “Graphic Design Experience”, etc. Base this on the fields most appropriate for the skill set you have and the position you’re looking for. This has a great branding effect on your CV and should make it seem less generic and boring. This is ideal if you want to show off your experience in one particular area. Have all of your relevant experience in one section at the top (where the recruiter will first look) and then add an “Additional Experience” section for everything else.
2. Focus on your accomplishments, not your responsibilities: Instead of listing your responsibilities in a conventional style, shake things up a bit by listing your accomplishments instead. Try not to fall into a trap of describing what you’ve done on a day to day basis instead of listing projects you’ve completed or the results this had for the company you’ve worked for.
For example: A bullet style mention under your “Accomplishments” section on your CV stating “Coordinated 8 artist press releases that contributed to an increase in annual sales by 14%” sounds way more exciting than a very dull “Coordinated artist press releases” mention in your “Responsibilities” section. Instead of mentioning “Coordinated re-organization of the payment system”, say something like “Coordinated re-organization of outdated payment system which led to 15% more company profit”. Doing this should leave your potential employer impressed with your skills and accomplishments, not bored with “just another CV” look on their face.
3. Don’t use over-used buzzwords: Try not to use over-used buzz words like “go-getter”, “think outside of the box”, “go-to person”, “result driven”, “team player”, “hard worker”, “strategic thinker” or “detail-oriented” on your CV. Some recruiters will read over those words. Rather use words like “achieved” , “improved”, “trained”, “managed”, “created”, “influenced”, “increased/decreased”, “negotiated”, etc on your CV. Keep things interesting, keep the reader of your CV engaged, don’t bore them. Read our post featuring 10 power words you should use on your CV for more ideas.
4. Make it sound like you have a life when you’re not working: So, you are a professional with five years of experience, but how are you setting yourself apart from all the others? How do you show your passion for your field or that you have other skills that you can bring to the position? To accomplish this, show off attributes like these, include a “Community Involvement” or “Leadership” section on your CV or expand your “Skills” section to “Skills & Interests”. If you have done event planning for a company or were the photographer for a company function, state that on your CV. Show that you do more than just show up at work and do what you are told. It’s a great way to show off who you are, but try not take this to the extreme – anything you include should be relevant to the job that you’re applying for.
5. Include a cover letter: Everyone hates writing cover letters when it comes to job hunting, but it’s an essential part of the process. Some of you might be thinking “Well my experience should speak for itself”, but times have changed: most recruiters require a cover letter nowadays.
A cover letter is a great opportunity to really introduce yourself as person, not just another applicant with skills. When you’re writing it, imagine that you’re writing to someone who already believes you’re qualified. Imagine that you have received an e-mail from your boss-to-be and he’s telling you that he’s excited to have you as part of his team and that him and his company would like to learn more about you. Take the confidence you receive from that thought and channel it into your cover letter.
It’s important to be open to advice and feedback when you’re creating or updating your CV, but be careful not to take out aspects that makes you special. Applying these tips might just be the reason that you get your foot in the door of your next job.
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