How to make your CV stand out
Keep it relevant, concise and easy to read.
Don’t fall at the first hurdle by sending a dissertation full of irrelevant details. Focus on your most recent roles, and on the responsibilities and results that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Using clear headings, short sentences and bullet points will make it easier for anyone reading it to build up a picture of you quickly.
Don’t gloss over periods of time
Here’s where an ‘honesty is the best policy’ approach really is best, so if for example you were looking for a job during a certain period of time, be honest and say so. Few things make a potential employer suspicious like a CV with missing months or years, so show them how well you’ve used your time – whether you were working or not. Take time to look at your CV through the eyes of a potential employer, and develop good explanations that will help to show your strengths. Again, sticking to the truth is the key. So if you’ve changed jobs several times in the last few years, emphasise the varied experience this has given you. Or if you have stayed in the same position for many years, be sure to talk about how loyal you are. Similarly, redundancy is nothing to be ashamed of, but you may need to remind a potential employer of this fact – and explain, with your head held high, what led to your position (not you) being made redundant.
Be honest about what you’ve done
Exaggerating responsibilities or results will only lead to trouble further down the line. By all means, blow your own trumpet – but don’t overdo it. Talk about:
- the responsibilities you had
- the results you achieved
- the skills you developed
- any training or education you undertook – especially while in the region