Competition in the job market is tighter than ever. Job seekers must do everything they can to stand out from other candidates when applying for a position. To do that, you need to learn how to boost your CV or curriculum vitae to make a great first impression on potential employers.
According to PwC, 65% of employees will be looking for work in the coming months. On the other hand, 88% of executives expect to see higher turnover rates than normal. While that means there will be more job openings available for aspiring job seekers, it also means that competition for the spot would be tough. By having an impressive CV, you can increase your chances of getting hired.
With that, here are some tips on how to improve your CV.
Customize your CV according to the job you want
Each job demands different skills and experiences from job seekers. It is important that you highlight those essential qualifications in your CV. This way, you can demonstrate why you are the perfect fit for the job. So instead of having just one CV for all your job applications, consider customizing each one according to the job you are applying for.
For example, you are applying for a position in a marketing team. Instead of including all the skills you’ve learned from school or in previous jobs, just focus on the relevant ones. Mention soft skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, creativity, and adaptability. For hard skills, you can include writing, research, data analysis, and social media marketing.
Research the company, and understand what they’re specifically looking for in a new employee. This way, you can determine if you’re fit for their culture and you can tailor your CV to match exactly who they’re searching for to fit into the job role.
Moreover, double-check whether the company requires you to submit a CV or a resume. Make sure to know the difference before submitting your application.
Be concise but impactful
A CV should be short and direct to the point. Companies usually get hundreds of applications for a single position. As a result, they might find long CVs not worth their time. Limit your CV to a page long and only add an extra page when needed, such as when you have an extensive career or past work experience.
Keeping your CV concise can also make it more impactful. This makes it easier for you to emphasize important information such as your accomplishments and relevant skills. In fact, there are certain keywords you must keep in mind when writing your CV. Some examples are innovative, achieved, and adaptable.
You can also apply this tip when you write an email sending your CV or resume.
Focus on the specifics than general
Anyone can easily claim that they have the skills needed to get the job. To set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants, focus on results instead of your general responsibilities from previous jobs. For example, instead of saying, “I have a good grasp of social media marketing,” you should say, “While working at X company, I increased their social media engagement by 20%.”
Aside from results, be more specific about the skills that you’ve acquired from your previous experiences or from your studies. So instead of mentioning general skills, use specific skills to boost your CV. For example, if you are applying for a marketing role, instead of writing that you have “computer skills,” include what software or hardware you know how to use like CRM software for small business. CRM is a popular system used by organizations today to centralize customer data. Hence, having skills and know-how in using a CRM system is helpful.
Facts and figures have more impact to measure your effectiveness.
Spotlight your accomplishments
Accompany your skills with your achievements. Instead of just boosting what you can do, highlight what you’ve already done. This would show to your future employers that you don’t just talk the talk but that you have proof that you can do it too.
Hence, one of the best ways to boost your CV is to spotlight your accomplishments. It doesn’t have to be big feats. You can always start with something small but relevant to the position that you are applying for.
For example, you can include in your CV the problems that you identified and solved from your previous company. Or if you are a fresh graduate, how you were able to overcome a huge challenge in your life.
Keep your CV always up to date
As you acquire new skills and gain more experience, you must make sure that you include them in your CV. So whether you are looking for a new job or not, it is best that you list down all your new skills and accomplishments.
But a CV won’t just update on its own. It is important that you actively improve yourself so that you have something more to add to it. You can take classes, attend seminars/webinars, and more.
Recruiters receive and handle hundreds, or even thousands, of CVs on their end. They need to skim through these CVs quickly and collect the information they need. If your CV is difficult to read, your recruiter might miss key information or even skip through it.
So how to make your CV readable?
First, use a simple font. Stick with simple sans-serif fonts like Arial, Calibri, Tahoma and Verdana. They may be bland and boring, but they’re professional and readable.
Next, clearly divide your CV into different sections. Use bold headings and consistent spacing to break down important sections of your CV like contact information, profile, core skills, roles and more.
Finally, break up text into short paragraphs so they’re easy to read. It’s also a good idea to use bullet points for the eyes to easily navigate around the text.
Standing out from the rest
Job searching is tough whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced employee. Vying for a certain position means competing with other job seekers. So make sure to leave an unforgettable impression on your future employees by enhancing your CV using these tips.