If you’re looking to change your career or your job, then your CV is the first step to getting there. Your CV should be the best representation of you, your skills and your experience. To get an interview or land a dream job, it needs to stand out from the crowd. Let’s take a look at seven CV tips to improve your resume and get it to the top of the pile.
1. A simple Structure
Your CV is the very first impression that you give an employer about yourself. A clearly structured CV tells an employer that you’re organised, detail-oriented and diligent. If your CV is clearly laid out, then employers can read it at a glance. If it’s too hard to read, then it will probably end up in the bin.
Don’t add in too many headings or subheadings; instead, maintain a simple structure with a few limited headings to differentiate your employment experience and your education. Minimise your use of bold, capitalised words and italics; use bold to highlight what’s important in your CV and be consistent. Employers should be able to pick out your past positions and skills easily.
2. Short Length
Hiring managers and employers are too busy to read a long CV; if yours is more than two pages in length, the chances are it won’t be read. Start your CV with your most recent professional experience and work backwards. Follow this section with your education, and again, start with the most recent.
You should be able to fit all your important experience and background into two pages; use bullet points to help you save on space. If you find it difficult to cut down on length, our tips on listing your achievements at the top should help. Try not to go below one and a half pages or your CV might look too short.
3. Achievements Section
Creating a section at the very top of your CV called ‘Achievements’ is probably one of the best ways to make you stand out against any competitors. List any professional and personal achievements you have here; employers will be able to see your successes without having to read your whole CV, and they’ll appreciate this.
Think of this as a chance to emphasise what you have excelled at in the past. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a job in a new industry. A hiring manager will want to know about your previous experience. If you have any definitive statistics or facts then be specific; they’ll be impressed with any changes you’ve implemented or outcomes that you have driven forward in a company.
4. Empowering Language
The language that you choose is vital. Make sure that you adopt active verbs, such as “implemented”, “measured” and “managed”; they will empower your CV. Keep your language simple and concise to avoid any confusion; you want to be precise about your experience. Match the language that you use to the specific job description: this will increase your chances of landing an interview.
Remember that your CV should be written in the past tense. Grammatical errors will turn off hiring managers straight away, so be sure to get someone you trust to proofread it for you. You never know what they might pick up on that you could miss!
5. Volunteering Experience
If you have ever volunteered for a charity, a company or at an event, be sure to detail this experience. No matter what you have volunteered at, the act itself shows that you’re willing to give up your time to help people.
It means that you’re a team player, and what hiring manager doesn’t want a team player working for them? It also shows that you’re happy to share your skills and expertise with others: this is an attractive leadership quality.
Have you ever participated in training or completed any courses? Even if you’re applying for a job in a different industry, if you ever signed up for extra training or courses, it proves to an employer that you have a love of learning.
A love of learning will often translate into other valuable skills; an openness to change and an interest in continuing to improve your skills and expertise. Employers love employees who are interested in developing themselves further.
7. Interesting Hobbies
Everyone has hobbies, and hobbies can help you stand out at the CV stage. It’s good to have some hobbies to talk about when you get an interview and even better if they’re related to your career. If you love sports, then this means you might have a competitive and ambitious side, you might also be a team player.
If you like painting or art then these hobbies show that you have a creative flair and you can think outside the box. Take a few minutes to think about your hobbies and how they reflect your personality and your skills in a positive way.
Remember, your CV should highlight the best parts of your professional career and you. If you’re interested in a career in tech and want to learn to code, you can contact us below, and we’ll help you get started. We hope these CV tips help you on your journey.