With the job market slowly but surely starting to improve, there is the hope that a continually increasing number of jobs in various industries will become available. However at present there are still a large number of applicants going for each position as and when they become available, so if you are in the position of an applicant, you need to make sure your CV stands out from the crowd and gets you noticed.
This is unfortunately easier said than done, especially if you have had little experience in writing a CV and applying for jobs before, however detailed below are a number of top tips that you can utilise when producing your CV to give yourself an edge against the competition;
Employers will always look more fondly on a CV that has been tailored to the job on offer and not simply a generic CV that is clearly sent out to every position you have an interest in. This will undoubtedly take a little more time to ensure it suits the job in question yet will have more of an impact once it is received by the employer.
In adapting your CV to the position you are applying for, you will also be able to easily illustrate what you can bring to the specific role rather than just detailing your key skills and qualities in general. You can highlight how your previous experience, education and skills can be utilised to the full and lead you to be successful in the advertised role.
Whilst they might initially sound good and seemingly be the perfect way to describe a particular skill or an aspect of your previous experience, an employer will have seen all of the clichés before, so try to be original and unique in your wording. This way you’ll be offering something different and ensure your CV stands out as it avoids some of the common buzz words in CV writing.
It is also important to back up the phrases you use to describe yourself or past experience with concrete evidence, as this will make your application much stronger. Fancy words and phrases may sound great but without substance to back them up can leave you sounding like you are trying a little too hard to impressive instead of letting your skills and experience do the talking.
With the potential for the employer to be looking through a large number of CVs in relation to the advertised job, it will be incredibly time consuming to read every detail of every CV, however, you as the applicant can make it easier for them by providing detailed summaries as opposed to lengthy blocks of text.
Doing this will make your CV stand out from others whilst still providing the necessary information to support your application. This should also then help the recruiter begin to formulate questions to dig a little deeper, which may encourage them to invite you in for an interview to find the answers.
If, when writing your CV, you go off the premise that the person reading it only has an attention span of 20 seconds, this should open your eyes to the importance of keeping everything neat and tidy whilst also being engaging enough to keep them reading.
Should you read back over your CV and find yourself being bored, imagine what it will be like for the employer, so be excited about what you are writing and why you are applying for the position, as this will reflect in the words and feeling given off from the completed CV. An engaging CV will suggest an engaging individual and put you ahead of the game when it comes to getting asked in for an interview.
The job advertisement sent out by the recruiter will almost certainly have a collection of key attributes required of the applicant, so be sure to use these as a guide when drawing up your CV. Relate back to the job advert throughout as this will be a clear sign to the employer that you have taken the time to read over the application and feel you have the necessary skills to meet those required, rather than simply applying just because it is a job.
If you can again show clear evidence as to why you tick all the right boxes in relation to the skills and experienced highlighted as essential in the advert, you will be in a much stronger position than if you were to simply write a generic CV with very little reference back to the job at all.
If you want a job, you need to make sure you are noticed ahead of all the other people who will be applying, and the only way of achieving this in the early stages of the process is to make your CV stand out from the crowd. Hopefully the tips outlined above have been useful and can be implemented the next time you draw up a CV for a job you believe you have all the right attributes for!
This post was written by Oliver Kyle on behalf of the graduate recruitment services firm GradWeb.
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