10 Things To Do To Improve Your CV

What kind of content attracts attention; the content that stands out from the rest. This also applies to a CV. When a prospective employer is reading through a pile of CVs they are looking to be wowed or at least to see something unique. Presentation can only get a CV so far, though it’s really about the person’s experience and suitability to the role, but injecting a bit of personality never hurt anyone.

Here are 10 tips to help your CV make an impact:

Make a good first impression

The first section of CV will be the first thing the employer sees. This is an opportunity to hold their attention. Say who you are and what you are. This is where you sell yourself, you’ll get the chance to back it up later.  

List your achievement

If you’re proud of something then put it on your CV. It’s not just a record of what you’ve done in your career, but the skills you’ve acquired in life. You never know what the employer may value and respect you for. For example, you may not consider the fact that you left your job to go back to college and retrain as something else, but your potential employer may have had a similar journey and respect you for this. 

Tailor your CV to suit the role

Consider having different CVs for different roles that can be edited, adapted to tailored to suit the situation/job. For example, are you a journalist who also works as a copywriter? Then create a CV for both which emphasises the most relevant skills. If the job is for journalism then focus on reporting experience, for copywriting focus on digital marketing. It may just be a few simple edits but this can help your chances of employment immensely. 

Refrain from adding references

If the employer is keen to speak to you this gives them something to approach you for. It’s advisable to confirm that references are available on request, but at this stage it isn’t necessary to include who they are. Encourage the employer to reach out to you and start a dialogue. This way you have another fresh opportunity to impress them.

Make sure that the CV is visually appealing

Employers are sick of reading Calibri and Ariel font. Mix it up, but remember it needs to be legible and professional. Just not boring. Microsoft Word and Apple Pages are the world’s two most famous word processors and both have templates you can use to modify your CV.

Don’t add a photo

Let your achievements and qualifications speak for themselves. Your appearance isn’t relevant at this stage. Should you turn up to an interview looking untidy then this is when judgments should be made. You don’t know what prejudices or preconceptions your visage will conjure in the employers mind. You may remind them of a difficult former employee or an ex. By the time you meet them you’ll have erased all of their fears.

Don’t be shy or overly modest

Telling a shy person to not be shy is like telling the sun not to shine. It doesn’t work like that. But it can on your CV. It’s a written document and is expected to be factual. Therefore if you’re a talented and experienced person then write that. Then write the evidence to support it, you may convince yourself. 

Don’t be arrogant or unpleasant

While it’s important to not be too meek and modest, the same is true of being overconfident. There’s no reason to list your limitations on a CV but keep your confidence in check also. If you’ve won an award to say you’re the Greatest Stockbroker in the world then feel free to include that. If then don’t make grandiose or hyperbolic claims. Also keep your opinions to yourself, unless they are relevant to the job. 

Learn from the best

If you have a friend or colleague who is an expert at CV writing then don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback. Especially if they hold a position similar to the one you’re applying for. They can set you on the right path.

Avoid writing too much

A CV of two pages is the general rule, but if you have many letters after your name or have more experience than most then this is going to be difficult. Everyone is different and that’s okay, just try not to add any filler or waffle. Keep your CV punchy and informative.



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