A CV or a curriculum vitae is the history of a person’s work experience summarized in a written form that you use when applying for a job. It is often used interchangeably with a resume. Some would argue that there is a difference between the two while others would say that it only matters depending on which continent you are.
Because the CV is the first thing that a future employer or HR personnel sees as a representation of yourself, it is essential to make sure that it stands out from the rest.
Here are three simple tricks that you can do to make sure that your CV stands out:
1. Make the design and format of your CV simple and easy to read
One of the most misunderstood points, when people are making a CV, is that the more elaborate the format and design of a CV is, the better it is or the more it will stand out to HR personnel.
On the contrary: HR personnel are not looking for the most elaborately formatted and designed CV. They want it to look pleasing and easy to read. What does that mean? Here are a few tips for achieving an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-understand CV:
- Keep the design and format of your CV simple. Do not put unnecessary lines or margins and other designs in your CV. Keep it simple and neat.
- Place the critical information that you want to be found easily in strategic places. For example, your name and contact information should not be blending in. They should stand out so they can be seen easily.
- Each of your work experiences and description should be on bullet points to create more emphasis.
- Keep your education background concise to provide more space for work experiences. But you should also include awards that you have achieved while in school. For example, if you finished college with high honors, then add that, and so on.
- Make your CV easy to read by highlighting the headline in the first sentence. You can proceed to describe relevant details in the following sentences. But, again, keep them short but concise.
It can be challenging to find a balance between simple and boring designs. If possible, you should enroll in a short graphic design course to help you improve your skills in making your CV.
Keep in mind that the essential part of a CV is the content. So when making your CV, you should make sure that whatever format and design you have in mind, it should be able to highlight the content.
2. Be concise and professional in describing past work experiences
The key term here is concise, which means to give complete and clear information in a few words. So no need to use flowery words. Here are some other tips to keep your past work experiences description concise and professional:
- You should also use relevant jargon words applicable to the job you are applying for. This way, your future employer will know that you do know the industry.
- If you have some figures to show off your skills, make sure to include them. For example, in your past online marketing job experience, you have a precise number by which you have improved the company you have worked for, for instance, doubling their profits. So in the description of your past work experience, highlight this by writing: “My performance has increased the company profits by 200% ”, and so on.
- Emphasize your contribution to the company you have previously worked for. Many applicants tend to describe their job position rather than their accomplishments while working in their previous jobs. Remember, HR personnel are well aware of the job description of each position. So make sure to emphasize your contribution to the company and the skills you have developed while working there.
- Do not bad-mouth your previous employer. Bad-mouthing your former employer is very unprofessional and frowned upon by many HR personnel. No matter how bad your experience was with your last employer, do not criticize the company. If possible, skip it altogether in your CV and give more emphasis on what you have contributed to your previous workplace.
3. Tailor your work experiences so that it fits to what you are applying for
The purpose of a CV is to summarize your skills and work experience to see if you are an excellent fit for the company you are applying for. Usually, companies ask for a one or two-page CV. Therefore, what you write in those spaces have to matter to the company you are applying for.
This is where it is essential to customize your CV to make sure that you are only highlighting the skills and work experiences relevant to what you are applying for. Thus, no need to include your past waiting experience if you are applying for an SEO job.
No one in the HR department would like to read all your job experiences. Just give them the ones that you think will help in impressing them and will drive the point that you are the one they are looking for.
Looking for a good job is very competitive these days. That is why it is a huge asset when you know how to make your CV stand out from the rest. It is, after all, the first step to getting closer to being hired.