Writing a CV can be quite daunting, especially if you’re either well experienced or barely have any experience. Pages and pages of experiences can be generated which can be overwhelming for recruiters and employers, which may lead to your CV being overlooked. On the other hand, a poorly produced CV or CV with irrelevant information, or not much information, may also lead to you CV being overlooked.
In order to avoid these scenarios, here are some useful tips on how to make your CV stand out!
Empty phrases, like those at the top of this article, don’t mean anything without being quantified “Good communicator”, “dynamic”, “team player” – these are not skills; they are clichés. When did you demonstrate these qualities? Why are you an “effective member of any team”? Also, be wary of outdated skills. “IT literate”, “Proficient user of Microsoft Word”… Who doesn’t have these skills in today’s multi-media age?!
Don’t make your achievements become a needle in a haystack by giving the reader your life story. Your CV is supposed to show what you can offer, not waffle only about what you’ve done. Don’t have 10 pages of copied and pasted job specs – repeating details that your job title would infer anyway. Summarise your duties and your role’s purpose over a few bullet points, then portray what you achieved and the difference you made.
Get rid of your ridiculous MSN email address you had 10 years ago: replace it with a professional one. Putting a photo on your CV, disclosing your age, or telling your potential employers that you’re a three-time divorcee with two children called Sam and Patricia, can lead to discrimination. Don’t do it. Do consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile, and don’t forget to put your address and contact details at the top of your CV. And have your name at the top of your CV, not the words “Curriculum Vitae”. They don’t need to be told what they’re reading … it’s fairly obvious… and when was the last time someone actually said “curriculum vitae” anyway?!
Remember, employers aren’t just looking for someone with an appropriate career history and education; the candidate who gets the job is often not the person with the best experience, but the one who best demonstrates the characteristics and determination they are looking for to make a difference at their company.
Do you bungee jump off cliff edges in your spare time? Are you five-time world champion at standing on your head?
That’s cool. It makes you human. It makes you interesting. Put it on your CV.
Don’t just be CV number 283, be you !