04 August 2017 · by Eva Koukouraki 5 Quick Fixes to Get your CV Noticed
In an ever-changing job market, jobseekers are constantly faced with decisions and challenges. The overabundance of information can be distracting and even downright confusing at times with countless “experts” offering quick fixes online. Consequently, deciding who is right or wrong can become a chore in itself. Common industry jargon, applicant tracking systems (ATS) and Key Performance Indicators (KIPs) can all seem exceptionally important when updating your CV but at the end of the day, it all boils down to making who you are and what you have achieved stand out.
If you find the whole process confusing, look no further! We have the top 5 quick fixes to get your CV noticed.
Less has always been more and, in a world of 140 characters, keeping things punchy is a surefire way to get your CV noticed by consultants and HR managers.
Relevance is the key to success. Your potential employer is looking for someone who has relevant skills and experience to the role they are recruiting for. As a result, a candidate whose CV ‘reflects’ the job description will have a higher likelihood of being shortlisted for an interview. This can pose a challenge for several candidates, as most of the time there is just too much to say and too little space.
So the question remains: how do you fit everything into a two-page document?
The answer is simple; group and prioritise!
If you are applying for a role in the same industry, make sure your most recent role takes centre stage. This is your opportunity to show you have the skills and experience necessary to successfully meet the requirements of the role. An easy way to keep things to the point is using bullet points to talk about your achievements. Doing this will help the recruiter skim through your CV and quickly assess your suitability for the role.
Many of us have had several jobs over the years, from that summer job on a Greek island to your first entry level role; all these roles helped you build a variety of transferable skills which could add value to your CV. One of the best ways to trim this section down is to group roles under the subheading of ‘Early Career’ as it will help the recruiter see the career progression without taking away from more relevant areas of your CV. In this section, you should include the dates, the job title and the name of your employer.
Behind every job description there’s a human being. This might sound quite obvious but more often than not, candidates forget they are addressing a real person and fall into the trap of using the same clichéd expressions throughout their CV. Saying you are a ‘communicative professional with great people skills’ does not add any real value to your CV.
Employers and recruiters want to know why you are applying for the role and what you can contribute to the team. It goes without saying that you need to ‘sell yourself’ but resorting to industry jargon without highlighting what you can bring to the table will not land you the interview.
Before you start updating your CV, you need to be clear on what kinds of roles you are targeting and why. Doing research is just as important as writing it up, so look through as many job adverts as you can to identify repeated keywords. Then, make sure you sprinkle them across your CV, making them look as natural as possible, while clearly answering why you want the role and how you can contribute.
Employers look for more than just skills and experience; they look for personality. What better way to showcase who you are than in a personal statement. This is your chance to summarise your relevant skills and experience in no more than three lines; it needs to be factual, targeted and succinct.
Instead of saying things like ‘I am great at working in teams and alone’, you could say something like ‘I have substantial experience in leading risk analysis projects in collaboration with other departments”. The later highlights your leadership and managerial skills as well as your ability to work as part of a team. Furthermore, it gives insight into the kind of project you have handled, giving important information at the very beginning.
Getting your personal statement right can be a trying task even for the most eloquent of writers, however, first impressions count so make the most of it and keep going until you get it right!
It might seem easier said than done, but your potential employer will be looking at your successes rather than your actual responsibilities. The scale of your achievement will depend on the level of responsibility you had in your previous roles, however, it is paramount that you reflect on what you accomplished rather than what you did on a day to day basis.
In some cases, candidates have gone as far as copy-pasting from their job description which is not advisable under any circumstances. Your outcomes need to be measurable, when possible, and focus on how the actions you took had a direct impact on the outcome.
For example, instead of saying ‘I have excellent planning skills’ you could say something like ‘I have a proven track record of successfully planning ad organising monthly company events, reducing the annual budget by 15%’. This way, you draw attention to the specific skillset you possess, the task you carried out and how you improved the outcome.
Finding a new job has its very own unique challenges; for some people, job hunting is a job in itself but as the well-known proverb would have it “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
Finding a new job and everything that comes with it can be a daunting task, so keeping yourself motivated is very important. A good way to do that is to view every rejection as an opportunity to better yourself. Request feedback, when possible, as that will guide you in the right direction; in some cases it can be as simple as your CV was too long, whereas in others, it might be a case of needing more experience. The latter might prompt you to take up some volunteer work or go on a course, for example; eventually enabling you to make the jump you want.
If you want to learn more about CV writing, you can read our How to write a good CV article or directly download our CV template . If your CV is good to go, you can always check out our How to write a Cover Letter guide or download our Cover Letter template.
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