Some companies receive hundreds (and even thousands) of CVs. To help your resume stand out from the pile, here are just a few features you can include.
Create a strong opening
The opening lines of your personal statement are the most important lines – the person reading your CV may not delve any further if the first three lines aren’t interesting. Make your key achievements and skills clear from the beginning. This should hook in the recruiter.
Use unique fonts and graphics
Making your CV visually stimulating can also help you to get noticed. It could be worth looking for some unique fonts to download – you can find guides on how to install fonts on Mac and Windows online. You may also be able to use graphics to help break up text. This could include basic graphics like bullet points to more complex graphics like flow charts or even skill bars (you can find sites with templates including skill bars online).
Optimise your CV with the right words
Employers may be looking for specific words in your CV that show you’re the right candidate. These tend to be words mentioned in the job advert such as desired skills or requirements. Big companies may even use machines to scan CVs for these words in order to handpick appropriate candidates. It’s therefore important to use these words – you don’t have to use all the key terms mentioned on the job ad, but you should aim to use some of them.
Show proof of your skills
Recruiters will also look for evidence of skills. You can provide this evidence by describing specific examples of times when you used certain skills. In the case of trades that involve writing or graphic design, you may even be able to include links to your work. This proves to employers that you’re not just mentioning words to tick boxes.
References from past employers and colleagues can show that you work well with others and can also offer further proof of your experience and skills. Whilst many people don’t include these in their CV, doing so could save you the hassle of having to collect them at a later date on a recruiter’s request. You may only need to include a couple of these references towards the end of your CV.
Keep it snappy
Ideally, you don’t want your CV to be too long. A five page resume will put off recruiters that may be pressed for time. Instead, try to only information that is relevant or otherwise impressive (personal achievements can make you seem like a more exciting dynamic candidate). Keeping it all on one page may be a bit too much of a challenge, but you should definitely try not to exceed two pages.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.