How to Make Your CV Stand Out from the Crowd

HannahCVs, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Uncategorized

In today’s competitive graduate job market, having a standout CV is crucial for catching the attention of employers and landing your dream job. With hundreds or even thousands of candidates applying for a single position, you simply can’t risk your CV getting overlooked. But how can you make your CV stand out? In this blog, we’ll provide you with some helpful tips and tricks to take on board:

1. Tailor to the job description:

When submitting your job application, avoid sending your CV impulsively. Instead, invest time in carefully reading each job specification and make notes about what the employer is looking for. Identify the key skills and feature them prominently within your CV. Draw on your own experiences and highlight when you put these skills into practice, whether it was during your university degree, volunteer work, or extra-curricular activities. These skills may include:

  • Time-management
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Technical proficiency

Did you know that many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan CVs for relevant keywords? Therefore, make sure to include relevant phrases naturally within the content for the grad job you’re applying for, such as specific skills, industry jargon or specific qualifications to boost your chances of being shortlisted.

2. Shout about your achievements

While listing your former job responsibilities shows that you’re capable of the advertised internship or grad job, don’t be afraid to shout about your achievements. Employers are keen to gain hard evidence of what you have achieved and the potential value you can bring to their company. Using percentages or numbers is the best way of proving these triumphs and lends credibility to your claims.

For instance, instead of simply stating you “increased sales,” you could specify that you “boosted sales by 20% in six months.” In doing so, you’re not only highlighting your ability to successfully drive sales growth, but also demonstrating that you can achieve measurable goals in a set time frame.

3. Use a clear format

The visual presentation of your CV is just as crucial as the content you write. In just a few seconds, employers make the decision to delve deeper into a candidate’s CV or move onto the next application, based on its appearance. Achieving this requires adopting a clean, professional format that enhances readability and is easy to navigate. A cluttered or disorganised layout can hinder employers from locating essential information, potentially leading them to lose interest. Instead, opt for a well-organised structure with clear section headings, concise bullet points and a consistent font (preferably Arial or Calibri) throughout.

4. Proofread carefully

Last but not least, be sure to proofread your CV before sending your application. Make an effort to catch typos and formatting issues. Even the smallest mistakes may give the impression that you have a lack of attention to detail, which is never a good trait in the professional world. Why not ask a family or friend to double-check your CV for you? Or, even head to Aston Futures and book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants to go over anything you’re unsure of.

Written by Inspiring Interns. Inspiring Interns is the first recruitment company to use the innovative technique of video CVs to place young jobseekers into employment. Since their founding in 2009, they have placed over 7,500 graduates into the workplace, as well as providing useful advice for recent graduates and employers.