If you are entering the job market, the first thing you need to work on is your CV. After all, surveys suggest that recruiters take less than a minute to decide whether a resume is worth taking a second look at.
Cliches, typos, and even exaggerations of your accomplishments and qualification can rank you lower and rob you of getting a chance to land an interview. So, how do you create an attention-grabbing CV? Here are some tips for job seekers from a career advice expert.
Make It Relevant
Unless your resume comes across as relevant to the position you apply for, no recruiter is going to consider you. In other words, you need to make sure that what your resume communicates is tailored to the job you seek.
An easy way to accomplish this is to take a closer look at the job description and tailor your CV accordingly. If you need further help, you can use the tool edit my resume on top SkillHub resume platform to ensure that your CV aligns with the employer’s expectations. Notably, you need to clarify why you will be able to deliver in that role.
The CV format typically includes a summary at the top, which offers a quick overview of your key accomplishments and skills. And this is the first thing that a recruiter or hiring manager is likely to notice on your CV.
So, your personal profile has to be clear and concise. It should tell the recruiter exactly why you are suitable for the role.
Mind Your Cliches
Recruiters see hundreds of CVs every day. And one thing that will not help you grab attention is tired and common expressions. For instance, you might be tempted to use phrases such as passionate, hard-working, team player, diligent, and such. However, these descriptive words will hardly add value to your resume.
Instead, career experts suggest that you switch to phrases such as accountable or achieved. The aim is to show the purpose of your role and what you achieved in your previous positions.
Show Your Impact – Grabbing CV
To continue from the above section, when writing your job descriptions in the CV, it is important to highlight your responsibilities and accomplishments.
Aim to show what impact your actions have made.
For example, you can write:
Sourcing of new clients
However, it would be better to make it:
Generated new leads and helped increase the number of new customers by 10%.
In the second phrase, you are not only showing your impact but also quantifying it. This approach might not be suitable for every point or job you might have handled. Nevertheless, it is best to implement this strategy wherever possible.
Keep Things Succinct
You might feel encouraged to include every single work experience you have had in the past. However, if a particular position is not relevant to the role you are applying for, it is best to remove it.
Traditionally, it is considered best to keep your CV to a two-page limit. However, it often depends on the sector and your seniority in the field. Broadly speaking, you can even bring it down to one page if you think you have covered all the required details. If you need some inspiration on how to be concise, you can check out resume writing example on websites such as SkillHub. Learn from experts how to make your CV easy to scan for a recruiter.
Avoid Using Colors and Skill Graphs
There was a time when CVs meant a lot of graphics, with colors that stand out and formats that are unique. However, that is no longer the case, especially because recruiters rely on software to weed out such applications.
This means that despite being qualified, your CV might not be given any attention because of the format you used. As such, it is best to stick to a conventional format that can be easily navigated. You should also stay away from graphics illustrating your skills.
Be Mindful of an Applicant Tracking System
For those unaware, recruiters today use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to assist them in shortlisting candidates. These are basically software programs that scan your resume for matching skills to ensure that you are a potential candidate for the job.
In other words, if you are not careful, there is a strong chance that your CV might not even reach the table of the hiring manager. Here are some points to bear in mind when tweaking your CV for the ATS:
- use simple sentences and bullet points;
- find out the keywords used in job posting and include them in your CV in a non-spamming manner;
- try to match the technical skills and qualifications required for the job to yours;
- stick to standard job titles when citing previous work experiences.
That said, you shouldn’t write your CV just to beat the ATS. Remember that, at the end of the day, a human would be going through your resume to make the final decision. As such, write primarily for the human audience and adjust the CV later for the ATS.
Include a Cover Letter
Whether or not a cover letter is relevant is a topic that is still under debate. But one could argue that it often comes down to individual cases. For instance, if you have a gap in your resume, then a cover letter can be the most helpful tool to explain this gap.
Time spent outside your work might have helped you acquire relevant skills, and it might not be possible to explain them through your CV.
On the other hand, if you are merely going to repeat the experiences you already described in your CV, it is best to avoid a cover letter.
Finally, make sure that your CV is tailored and devoid of any grammar and spelling mistakes before submitting it. The simple aim is to make sure that your job application comes across as well-put-together for the specific role you pursue.
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