The purpose of your CV is to get you to interview. Nothing more, nothing less. As a career coach, when helping job seekers, more often than not the first thing I am presented with is a CV. It always amazes me how easy it is to stand out from the rest of the job seekers by spending time on a well-thought out and written CV. Here are my top 11 ways for you to get your CV to stand out from the crowd.
1. Find out who the hiring manager is
The best way to not get your CV read is to send it to the wrong person. Before you send your CV ring up the agent or company and find out who the hiring manager is, and ideally let them know your CV is on the way to them.
2. Write a covering letter matching your skills & achievements to requirements of the role
The purpose of a covering letter is to get your CV read… The best way to do this is set up a table and in the first column list one-by-one the key skills, experiences required by the role – then in the next column show how you meet these criteria.
|You are looking for||How I meet these criteria|
|1. Degree level applicant with professional marketing qualifications||Graduated from xxx university with a 2:1, and achieved my CIM in 2007|
3. Ring up hiring manager or agent and find out more about role
A job advert will only tell you so much about a role. Ring up the hiring manager – or agent, and find out more about the role. E.g. what are the key skills and experiences wanted by the hiring company? Only when you have a role description for the role, can you truly match your capabilities to the demands of the role
4. Be succinct and to the point
Recruiters do not have time to read a long CV. Anything over 2 pages is too long, and will provide too much unnecessary information that will not get read.
5. Tailor CV to role applying for
Find out what the company’s top 5 ‘hiring’ criteria for the role are. Make sure your CV demonstrates succinctly that you have the skills and capability to meet these hiring criteria
6. Highlight your quantified and relevant achievements
Companies want to hire successful people. So make sure you showcase your achievements on your CV.
7. Consider using a functional CV
If you have changed companies frequently, or considering a career change, large gaps when you have been unemployed or been with your current employers for a long period of time – use a functional CV. A functional CV is where you showcase your key skills rather than employment history.
8. Think about keywords
Many recruiters electronically search for CVs by keyword. Use a ‘profile section’ and ‘core skills’ on the front page to increase your keyword count on the 1st page of your CV. If you are posting your CV on an internet board, your keyword count will be vital to your CV being ‘found’ by a recruiter.
9. Consider sending a CV through the post
Many recruiters use an electronic recruitment process for a reason – and so you need to comply with their process. However, many job adverts don’t stipulate how you should apply. As many hiring managers are used to receiving CVs via e-mail, a good quality paper copy sent through the post may get more attention than an e-mailed CV.
10. Re-post your CV weekly
Many recruiters only look at CVs which have been posted on an internet board in the last 14-21 days. Each week re-post your CV on the internet boards… simple!
11. What messages does your CV say about you?
Ask a trusted friend, partner, coach or mentor to take a look at your CV, and tell you what key messages hits them when they look at your CV. If your CV just comes across as a mass of text, then you need a re-write!
As a bit of fun, what’s the worst CV blunders you have seen?
If you are having trouble finding your next role, why not give us a call – we would love to help your CV stand out from the crowd and get you an interview for your ideal role.
- Why thinking about your achievements will help you get an interview How to use your past achievements to get your CV noticed and invited to interview....
- 14 Classic mistakes people make when writing their CV Many job hunters struggle to get asked to interview, and wonder why they are being rejected so often. In my...
- The five least efficient ways to hunt for your next job Did you know that the most common methods of finding a job, are generally the most inefficient ways of finding...
- 5 ways your network can help you find your next role Your personal network is the best way of finding yourself your next role. This articles details 5 ways to use...
- 7 tips to make sure your covering letter gets your CV read How to write a great covering letter which will ensure that your CV gets read....