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How to make your CV stand out

To ensure you have the best advice for creating your CV, we spoke to Anuja Basra from our Careers and Employability team, to give us some of her best CV tips! Find out what advice she gave below.

 

When building your CV, your experience and education are important assets to the document, however, if it isn’t showcased appealingly, employers and universities may overlook this for another candidate who has caught their eye. The current economy has also reduced the employment rate in some sectors, making the market more competitive than ever.

This doesn’t mean it is impossible to secure a job, however. There are still many employers hiring and universities are still accepting students, so here’s a list of top tips for crafting your CV to ensure you are fully equipped with the best possible chance of success.

Presentation

Presentation matters. Just as you are applying for a position, so will others, therefore it is important to give the reader every opportunity to focus more on yours; by giving it that extra bit of care and attention. Employers and universities receive a huge number of CVs every year, so they may skim through to find the ones they want to read further. Those with eye-catching presentation may well stand a better chance of being read.

  • Refrain from large chunks of text
  • Highlight key information with concise bullet points
  • Use headings to identify separate sections
  • Organise in reverse chronological order

Be specific

If you are applying for several jobs or courses, the CV you present needs to be specifically tailored. Focusing on the area of work or study that you are applying for will demonstrate more passion and experience, compared with a generic overview of your achievements – if they are not all directly applicable. Many people choose to have more than one CV if applying to more than one job or course. By focusing on specificity, you are far more likely to present a more focused application and be selected for interview.

Less talk. More action.

When it comes to a CV, this is vital. Employers don’t want to hear that you can do things, they want to know what you contributed to get to the results of the things you did. For example:

“Experienced in Project Management” isn’t as impressive as “Effectively managed company projects resulting in an increase of 6% turnover, achieving KPI target.”

Action words and proof of action are a great selling point on CVs, and provide evidence of your successes.

The little things matter

You might think that focusing on the content of your CV is the only thing that matters but – while that is important – the little things matter too. Things such as spelling, grammar, punctuation and font styles are just as important in presenting the best version of yourself. It shows an eye for detail and proofreading skills, as well as simply showing your literacy capabilities. Brush up on the difference between its and it’s, there and their, and you’ll be off to a great start before crafting your CV.

Be yourself

An employer or university wants to know you; the real you. There is no point in exaggerating or being untruthful as this can easily be revealed at the interview stage, or in the position if you are successful. With that said, you should also be proud and showcase yourself for who you are. Don’t be shy with broadcasting your achievements and be sure to include some personal interests/hobbies to highlight who you are both in and out of a professional setting.

Our Careers and Employability team are always on hand to help you with your CV writing. You can arrange to talk to the team virtually or attend a CV writing workshop to put your skills into practice.

Until then, why not download our free CV Mini Guide for some extra advice?

Good luck!

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