Looking for a job is always an exciting time in your professional life, as it’s the moment that might define what your future career will be like. Whether you are hoping to change career, move to a new company, or start after your university graduation, every career begins with a curriculum vitae or CV for short.
Everybody agrees on what to find on a CV: It is the overview, commonly in written form although you can also find video and digital CVs appearing in certain professional sectors of your professional experience and qualifications for a specific job opportunity.
To put it in other words, your CV is your business card when you are talking to recruiters. So it’s important to make it count and to make it stand out from the crowd.
After all, recruiters have to deal with hundreds of CVs per day. Consequently, getting noticed is the first step to getting closer to getting hired.
Here are six tips to write a CV that will impress recruiters and employers.
1. Write It As You Mean It
In short, look at it as an essay on who you are and what you can achieve. It’s more than just a list of administrative details and chronological work experiences: It’s the story of who you are and how you can matter for your future employer. While CVs tend to be light on text, this doesn’t mean that you can relax your attention.
If you don’t use any grammar tool to help you to correct your text, you should at least ask a friend to proofread your curriculum to make sure that it is as perfect as it could be. Remember that the CV is your first contact with recruiters. Impeccable grammar and vocabulary will ensure a positive impression from the start.
2. Don’t Waste a Recruiter’s Time
Recruiters might be paid to read CVs, but that doesn’t mean that they enjoy diving through piles of documents in the quest for the right candidate. In average, recruiting teams prefer CVs that are easy to read, and that present a clear professional overview.
CVs formats are roughly similar in the information that they provide: Your contact information needs to be on top of the page; your employment history should be presented in chronological order and needs to include positions and dates; relevant skills and qualifications need to be listed either before or after your professional history; last on your CV should be your education and other hobbies and publications of interest.
Depending on your professional sector, you can find more dynamic templates. In the end, while the content of your CV is what matters most, a clear format will make it easier to read.
3. Go Beyond the Basics
There is no denying that you would only apply to jobs for which you have the relevant qualifications. This is a golden rule of CV writing, make it clear that you have all the qualifications that are required for the role you are interested in. But being qualified isn’t always enough.
You often need to go the extra mile to impress a recruiter. Below are three common examples of candidates who go beyond the basic skills.
If you are looking for a position in a nursing home, you will rapidly notice that the competition is very high. That’s because training for nursing homes is considerably shorter than training for other medical roles.
So you want to stand out with qualifications that are relevant for your sector, such as audiology training. As a rule of the thumb, over 65% of elderly people experience hearing loss, so you can be sure that being able to diagnosed audio troubles is a winning skill.
Not every marketing role requests that you are a fully trained digital marketer. But you can maximize your chances by joining the Google Academy and training as a certified Google marketer. This will give you additional expertise in web data analysis, pay-per-click and other online marketing campaigns, and SEO projects that will impress any recruiter.
If you are looking for a career in education and teaching, it’s always helpful to receive training in psychology. Indeed, teachers are a trusted confidant for many children in difficult situations, and it is best to have already an understanding of how to tackle most crisis cases. Violence at home, grievance, bully harassment, these are only a few of the issues that teachers help their students with. Additional psychologic qualifications are best suited for this career.
4. Be Always Visible
Writing the perfect CV and making sure it gets seen by the right person are two different things. Employers are still receiving many applications and can’t give each CV the attention it deserves. So it’s important to be smart and bypass the CV pile by finding ways to get in contact outside of the recruitment process.
You can do your research and email the relevant decision-maker in advance, for example. You could also engage with your network on LinkedIn to keep your profile active and visible. Don’t hesitate as well to expand your network.
5. Give a WOW Effect
You might have heard the story of Nina, who found a job at Airbnb, her dream company. Nina bypassed candidates by creating a website that she shared with Airbnb. In it, she provided market research of the company and her suggestions for future expansion. In short, she did what no other candidate had done: She delivered direct value in her CV.
6. Take Your Time
Finally, there’s the matter of time to take into consideration. Of course, you should send your CV at the right time, which means as soon as possible after discovering the job description. But this doesn’t mean that speed is always on your side.
Indeed, if you remember the first piece of advice, you should write your CV as you mean it. This also means that you need to make your CV relevant to the vacation you are applying for; you need to check that you haven’t missed any detail, and you should dedicate to your CV the time that you want a recruiter to take with it.