These days, it is all but guaranteed that when you apply for a job, you will be going up against a number of other candidates.
Of course, before you even get as far as the interview you need to be able to impress your prospective employer enough to be offered an interview. Your CV is your opportunity to demonstrate why you would be of value to an employer. The more you can sell yourself with it, the more interviews you will be called in for. Which is why you should be improving your CV
The best CVs, the ones which are most likely to lead to an eventual job interview, and hopefully a job offer, are those which go beyond academic and professional achievements. If the only achievements you can list are your academic grades and your professional experience, you are just another generic applicant. To stand out, you need a CV that stands out.
The more skills and qualifications that you have, the more versatile the range of roles that you will be able to fill. Employers love candidates who can take on multiple tasks, as this can ultimately save them having to make another hire. The better the CV you put forward, the better chance you have of being taken seriously and of landing any job you desire.
The following words of advice are things that anyone can do at any time to boost their value in the eyes of employers and to make their CV really shine amongst the others. If you want to appear more valuable to potential employers and score yourself that dream job, then these are the first steps you should take.
Trim the fat
When an employer sees your CV, they want it to be easy to navigate and simple to pick out the key pieces of information that they are interested in. A CV that is overloaded with irrelevant details and superfluous information is not going to make a great first impression. Remember that this will likely be this person’s first experience of you as an individual, so you want to create the best first impression possible.
Think of your CV as being reflective of your character. If you present a CV that is confused and rambling, then this is how you will come across as a person. Go through your CV and at each point ask yourself whether the information you’ve put down would be of interest to a potential employer or not. Whenever you come across any information which doesn’t need to be there, you should mercilessly cut it away. Leave only the bits that a future employer will actually care about.
Tidy it up
Once you have been improving your CV and removed all the excess, you should then turn your attention to ensuring that what remains is conveyed in the clearest terms possible. Again, remember that your CV is a reflection of you and that you, therefore, need to ensure that it is simple to read and well written. As well as ensuring that the language you use is clear and concise, this also means ensuring that you have formatted your CV in a way that makes it easy to find essential information.
Keep all the sections within your CV clearly marked and separated. Also, make sure that you break up long paragraphs into shorter chunks. This helps in maintaining the focus and attention of the reader. The font that you use to type your CV can also make a difference. Avoid any fonts which are needlessly ornate and stick to those which are the easiest to read.
Learn some new skills
If you feel that your CV is somewhat short on unique selling points for you as an individual, it might be time to start thinking about learning some new skills and earning some qualifications that you can add. These don’t necessarily have to be related to your professional pursuits. Adding skills and qualifications and improving your CV demonstrates that you take self-improvement seriously and are capable of achieving goals that you set your mind to.
If you can’t decide what skill to pursue and are in need of some inspiration, have a look at the training courses on Find Courses. There, you can get an idea of the range and variety of courses available to be studied by anyone who wants to learn new skills. Once you have settled on something that is of interest to you and you think will look good on your CV, you can then apply through the same website.
Include a personal statement
Many people overlook the importance of a personal statement on their CV. If there is one key element of the CV that is most likely to be forgotten, it is the personal statement. When people do remember to include the personal statement, they often approach it in completely the wrong way. While it might seem to be the least relevant part of your CV, a personal statement will tell a potential employer a lot about you. Many employers will be paying particular attention to how you approach this part of the document.
A personal statement should tell potential employers more about you as a person. To make this section effective, you need to be able to talk passionately about yourself and your hobbies. You also need to avoid overselling yourself. If you write nothing but how great you are, employers will see through it. Also, remember that seeing your friends and watching movies do not count as hobbies. You need to think of more interesting and personal things to say than that.
Be specific about achievements
Instead of just saying that you excelled in sales at your last job, try and actually attach some numbers to those claims. Give the most precise figures you can to illustrate how you excelled in the position. Being able to say that you increased sales by 50% a month, for example, not only quantifies your achievement but it also demonstrates to the potential employer that you have attention to detail.
You should also be clear about how your achievements benefited or impacted the business. Again, if you are able to give specific figures to back up your claims, you should do so.
Take a break and then come back
When writing and editing anything for long stretches, it is easy for tunnel vision to take over. When this occurs, there is a loss of objectivity and a significant decrease in your productivity. It is important that you take regular breaks to allow your mind time to clear. Once you return to improving your CV from a break, you will often find that when you come back to it, there are numerous things which seemingly passed you by before.
You should also pay particular attention to your grammar and punctuation. Most text editors will come with a built-in spellcheck that should catch any spelling errors. However, these spell checkers are much more limited when it comes to checking grammar. You could either look at a more fully-featured text editor or just take extra care when editing your CV.
Improving your CV isn’t a particularly difficult task, but it can have huge ramifications for your professional life. Without the backing of a good CV, it’s hard to stand out from the rest of the crowd.