How to make your CV stand out

For many job opportunities, an inquisitive email and an attached CV is the first impression you make with potential employers. Your choice of words and the way you present them can make a good impression, but just as easily make a bad one. Everyone thinks their work experience is unique, that their career progression is seamless, and their written voice is riveting. But there are many different ways of making your CV stand out from the crowd.

You probably have a clearly-defined concept of how you like others to see you, but how successful are you at getting those messages across on paper? CV’s are personal things and should be developed to work for you, based on your personality and experience. From the off, you want to show your potential employers that you are the ideal candidate for the job and you can be of great benefit to the company. You need to get the balance right between demonstrating your skills, qualities and experiences to appeal to an employer and staying true to your own personality. Showcase your strengths in areas that matter. If the post requires excellent communication skills, highlight instances which demonstrate your aptitude at communicating and coordinating. If you’re are going to become part of a tightknit team, show how you have performed well and achieved whilst working as part of a team.

If you don’t have a clearly-defined idea of how your CV should look, it perhaps would be beneficial to talk to a career coach or advisor. They can help you hone your CV and point you in the right direction of how best to highlight your talents, clearly and succinctly.  Think about your ideal role and how you are suited to it. Demonstrate your aptitude, so that your CV tells a story and it stands out as a quality document. Also, make sure what you write is grammatically correct and makes senses in Plain English. You can be intelligent in your choice of words, but don’t try to be too clever. So, think about how you want to present yourself, but also about your audience. Tailor your language to the role you are applying for. Don’t send out the same spec CV over and over again. Also, make sure it’s intermittently updated, so that when you need it, it’s not a massive job of incorporating new experience, qualifications and roles when the time comes for you to need your CV. And presentation is important too, so give some thought to font size, layout and borders, to make your CV as memorable as possible.