Hopefully, you already know what basic information should always be included on your CV. There are some standard sections that should always be included.
They are your personal information, a personal statement, a list of your education and qualifications, a list of your previous jobs and work experience, a section about the skills and experience you have that are relevant to the role, a brief summary of your hobbies and interests, and your references.
Also, you should limit your CV to just one or two pages, so you need to ensure you keep your information concise. Once you know those basics, you need to look at ways of making your CV stand out.
After all, every other candidate should be including the above sections on their CVs, and you need to gain the edge over the other candidates if you want to ace the interview and get hired.
So, consider adding the following eight important things to your CV to make you stand out from the crowd.
1. Tailored Content
First off, make sure you include content that demonstrates you’re the right person for the particular position that you’re applying for. You should carefully read the job description. Then, match your CV content to the skills, experience, and traits that the job description mentions.
By tailoring your CV for the specific role you’re applying for, potential employers will know that you understand the position you’re applying for and are serious about wanting to get the job.
A little customization on your CV in that way will go a long way in helping you to stand out against the competition.
2. Awards and Honours
If you have any awards and honours, such as academic, athletic, or artistic recognitions, make sure you include them on your CV.
Whether you gained those recognitions during education, in work settings, or outside of work and education, highlighting your awards and honours will impress your interviewer and could give you the edge over other candidates.
Remember to include the name of the award or honour and state when it was awarded and by whom.
3. Your Personal and Professional Development
By showing a potential employer how you have changed and developed personally and professionally through different roles, and the accomplishments you achieved along the way, you can show a prospective employer how you have learnt from past positions and experiences and how you are committed to continual learning.
Employers are sure to look favourably at candidates who demonstrate they have expanded their skill sets and attributes and want to continue to do so.
4. Your Industry Insights
If you have experience working in the industry of the role you’re applying for, that’s a major plus. But to gain the edge over other candidates, you need to go beyond simply listing your previous relevant job roles and the skills and duties involved with the position.
To really make your CV stand out, demonstrate that you have industry insights, such as being aware of the latest trends, developments and issues in the industry.
By being able to show prospective employers that you understand the industry and are up-to-date with all the latest goings-on, you’re sure to make yourself a more attractive candidate.
5. Power Words
Including the right vocabulary and keywords in the content of your CV can make a huge difference in how engaged a potential employer will be when reading it.
Using power words like “innovative”, “achieved”, “adaptable”, and “demonstrated” can make your CV appear more professional and intelligent.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard. You should get the balance right. So, don’t use fancy words for the sake of it in every sentence.
Instead, identify the key points in your CV content where you can include power words to their fullest.
6. Proactive Descriptions
Following on from the last point, make sure you use proactive descriptions in your CV content.
For example, when describing the role of a previous position, instead of writing “I ran social media campaigns”, write something like “Via the implementation of a new strategy, I increased social media engagement by 25%.”
A prospective employer is sure to be more impressed by the latter statement than the former. So, choose your words wisely and carefully consider the proactiveness of the statements you include on your CV.
7. Languages That You Speak, e.g. French
The more skills you can demonstrate on your CV, the better; especially if they’re relevant to the role. For instance, if you speak another language, such as French, adding that information to your CV will really help to give your CV the competitive edge.
Even if the role doesn’t require French speakers, you’ll show a prospective employer that you’re committed to learning new skills. And, actually, being able to speak another language can be beneficial for almost any position, especially those that involve customer service or international clients.
Indeed, it could even be worth your while learning a foreign language if you don’t already speak more than your native language in order to gain the edge over other candidates. Thankfully, in this digital day and age, it’s easy to access the resources to learn another language.
For instance, you can find great French and Italian courses, among other language courses, via Lingoda’s courses or Lingvist Italian courses. The online classes are available 24/7, so you can learn in your own time.
8. A Link to an Online Supplement
It can be challenging to include all the stuff you need to add to your CV to make it stand out, while also ensuring you keep your CV to a maximum of two pages. In fact, ideally, your CV should be just one page long.
Well, here’s a good tip. Include a link on your CV to an online supplement that includes all of your additional important details and accomplishments.
As long as your CV impresses a potential employer, he or she is likely to follow your link to find out more about you, and you can then gain the edge over other candidates.