Sitting amongst a pile of CV’s, you’ll likely only have a few seconds to make an impact to make it onto that all important “yes” pile. But what makes a CV jump out from all the others? Is it an unusual font? Or the fact it’s delivered on a surfboard? Or maybe even it’s a 30-page document that details every inch of your life since you started education at 5.

Well, it’s definitely none of the above, but it is well written, well laid out and factual. But we’ve listed some other top tips to make your CV really stand out.

Make it short and sweet

With a small timeframe to impress, the all-important skills and experience the employer has specified need to jump off the page. “Yes, I have them!” Do you fit the bill? If so, showcase it. A punchy CV is your most powerful tool to get an interview.

Not all CV’s are equal

It’s tempting to check that ‘completed CV’ box on your list and simply fire it off to every job you want to apply for, but hold back on doing that just yet. Each role may want different skills, or each employer may place more emphasis on some experience over others. You may have them, but tailor each application using your CV by drawing on the experience they are asking for. Take a moment to ask yourself, “How does my experience fit?”.

Focus on your achievements

Don’t just list your roles and responsibilities at each role. For example, a marketing manager will know roughly what a marketing assistant role entails, the details of which can be talked about in an interview, but use this opportunity to focus on what you actually achieved. So instead of saying, “Day-to-day running of the social media”, say something like, “I ran social media campaigns that delivered XXX in conversions, and increased brand engagement by XXX.” This is your chance to blow your own trumpet!

Check out our courses to kick start your career

We have a wide range of courses across many sectors. Make that CV really stand out by gaining knowledge that can help you to get ahead.

Honestly is the best policy

Don’t be tempted to over play your experience. Be honest. You don’t want to lose a job before you’ve started. Employers check references and backgrounds, so make sure you’re truthful about what you’ve achieved.

A simple layout

If you’re unsure how to lay it out and make it look good, you can ask a friend or some recruiters will even do it for you. Too much text can be over facing so choose a good font size and don’t cram it all in. The golden rule is keep it under two pages in length – don’t forget, you can go into specifics at the interview stage.

Spellcheck is your friend

A spelling mistake or bad grammar can be the difference between a yes and a no. Avoidable errors can be a real bugbear for potential employers. If possible, get someone to read over it for you, to see how it reads and how you come across. Any mistakes could be flushed out by a second pair of eyes. If there is no one to help, try spellchecking or download the free version of Grammerly or similar, to get it all checked for errors.

Last but not least

Don’t forget your “online brand”. This is your social media presence across anything from TikTok, to LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure everything that is public represents how you would want to be seen in your professional life. Many employers will look at prospective employees social media accounts to build up a better picture of them, make sure it’s a picture you want painting!

We’re always here for our learners so if you need some help with your CV give the office a call and we’d be happy to give you some pointers.



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