In today's competitive job market, your CV (Curriculum Vitae) serves as your first impression on potential employers. It's your opportunity to showcase your skills, experiences, and personality, and it's crucial that it grabs attention.
In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process of creating a CV that gets noticed. We'll also provide an example CV and explain why it stands out.
The Basics of an Outstanding CV
1. Clear and Concise Formatting
The visual appeal of your CV is the first thing that sets it apart. Use a professional, clean font and maintain consistency throughout the document. Include headings for different sections like "Contact Information," "Summary," "Work Experience," "Education," and "Skills." Use bullet points to list your achievements, and keep the layout easy on the eyes.
2. Tailor It to the Job
Customisation is key. Each job application may require specific skills and experiences. Tailor your CV to match the job description, highlighting relevant skills and experiences. This shows that you've put in the effort to make your application a perfect fit for the role.
3. Strong Summary Statement
Start your CV with a compelling summary statement. This brief section should encapsulate your professional identity, your key skills, and what you can bring to the role. Make it engaging and tailored to the job you're applying for.
4. Highlight Achievements
When listing your work experience, don't just describe your duties – focus on your achievements. Use quantifiable data to showcase your impact. For example, "Increased sales by 20% in the first quarter" is more powerful than "Responsible for sales."
5. Show, Don't Tell
Incorporate examples that demonstrate your skills. Instead of saying, "I'm a great team player," mention an experience where you successfully collaborated with a team to achieve a goal. This provides evidence of your abilities.
An Example of a Standout CV
Let's take a look at an example of a well-crafted CV:
Why is this a great CV?
Clear and Professional: The example CV uses a simple, professional format with a consistent font, making it easy to read and visually appealing.
Tailored Summary: The summary statement is customised for the job, showcasing the candidate's relevant skills and what they can bring to the role.
Quantifiable Achievements: In the work experience section, the candidate doesn't just list responsibilities but highlights specific achievements. This paints a clear picture of their contributions.
Skills and Qualifications: The CV effectively highlights the candidate's relevant skills and qualifications, ensuring that the employer can quickly identify their strengths.
Education and Certifications: The candidate has neatly listed their educational background and relevant certifications.
References Available: By mentioning that references are available on request, the candidate keeps the CV concise while providing the necessary information.
A standout CV is all about being clear, concise, and relevant. Whilst it might be a bit much to tailor it for each job application, you will want to have a couple of different versions for different tpyes of jobs you want to apply for: e.g. one for customer service jobs and one for retail jobs. And each one can highlight your achievements, and provide concrete evidence of your relevant skills for that type of job.
By following these guidelines and referring to the example CV, you'll increase your chances of getting noticed by potential employers. Remember, your CV is your ticket to an interview, so invest the time and effort required to make it shine. Good luck with your job search!