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How To Make Your CV Stand Out From The Pile

Creating a good CV takes a combination of skilled writing, good design and a dash of creativity. When a prospective employer picks up your CV, it should instantly jump out at them and grab their attention. They should say to themselves: “Wow, there’s something special about this applicant.”

Here’s how to create a CV that does that.


1. Results, Results, Results

When writing your CV, always focus on concrete results. Don’t write job descriptions.

For example, if you were hired for a sales job, don’t just describe what you did, but actually give concrete results that you achieved.


Example – Bad:


“Was responsible for selling Company X’s products. Job included meeting with clients, finding their needs and closing sales.”


Example – good:


“Consistently ranked top 5 in sales in a salesforce of 150 salespeople. Generated sales in excess of $250,000 for 2 consecutive years. Closed 12% of all leads.”

Someone who’s hiring a prospective salesperson is much more likely to hire #2 than #1. The same is true for any kind of position.

Always give concrete results rather than job descriptions.


2. Focus on Subtracting Rather Than Adding

It can be very tempting to try and stuff in every bit of information about you and your achievements. However, often it’s better if you focus on subtracting information rather than adding more information.

Usually when a job opening is posted, prospective employers will get anywhere between 15 and 50 CVs in just a few days.

They don’t usually read through the entire CVs. They read the most important points of each, then pick a few candidates they’d like to meet in person.

A one page CV with very impressive credentials is much more likely to stand out than a 3 page CV with more fluff. You should have enough in you CV that your employer can get a good sense of who you are, but in general try to make your CV as lean and to the point as possible.


3. Design Can Make a Big Difference

The way your CV is designed can tell your prospective employer a lot about you.

Great design can make an otherwise mediocre CV pop out and catch attention.

If you’re not a great designer yourself, don’t fret. There are two main options. You can create your resume in a resume creation software that takes care of the design; or you can just hire a designer to make your resume look nicer.


4. A Quick Word on Keywords

If you’re applying for a larger company, make sure you include as many keywords as you can in your description or in other areas of your resume.

Larger companies often keep resumes of prospective employees in a large database. Anytime they need someone, they just do a search for them in their database.

If you’re looking to be a financial analyst for example, you might want to also make sure you have words like “trading” and “stock analysis” in your resume. That way, anytime someone types in those keywords into the company resume database, your resume will come up.

Creating a resume that stands out doesn’t happen in a few hours. Often it’s a process that takes a little bit of time. That’s just what it takes to land a great job in today’s market. If you need any help with creating a CV or trying to navigate into the world of Job searching, visit our Services to see how we can help you.

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