A Guide To A Better CV
Making a CV unique is important if you want to get an interview to land the job you are interested in, whether you have finished university or school recently or you are searching for a new job. The good thing is you have a number of ways to do it.
Below are the six tips that will go a long way in helping you make a CV that stands out:
Paying attention to your personal statement
The first thing an employer will see when they open your CV is your personal statement, and this means you have to get it right for the person reading to go on.
The first thing you need to do is cover who you are, what you offer, and your career goals – you should refer to the job description so you can know the skills the employer is after.
Your personal statement should be unique. Anyone can choose vague adjectives and use them to describe what they will bring to the company – but you should not do this because you are looking to stand out. This will mean focusing on your interesting, impressive, and relevant skills and abilities. You must tailor your resume to your job application, and this includes your personal statement.
You should be aiming for 150 words (this will be 4-5 lines) for your personal statement.
Finding your Unique Selling Point (UPS)
The world of job hunting is very competitive. This is why it is important that each application you send out could end up against many other applications that have the same skill set.
You can set yourself apart by using your USP. Whether it is that you take part in volunteer work or extracurricular, you have a blog, or you are using social media to connect with people in your field. Finding a USP will help you stand out.
When choosing a USP, always make sure it is relevant to the job you are applying for – and ensure it emphasizes your abilities to carry out these roles effectively.
Let’s say you have a blog that covers topics on your field of expertise, what this is going to do is draw attention to your extensive knowledge of the topic and commercial awareness. This blog can also have some of the impressive achievements you have had (having your work displayed at an event or even published).
You should also consider adding links to blogs, portfolios, or something that will help you demonstrate your skills and also what makes you unique.
Making the most of the keywords
This does not mean adding keywords to every sentence in your CV – but you should keep it in the back of your mind when writing it.
The reason why keywords are important is that there are employers who search for candidates using keywords, where they usually base them on the job title, duties, and the requirements of the job. They use software because it makes the process of sorting CVs much easier. The software does things automatically, all they do is key in the keywords.
When writing your CV, make sure you have gone through the job description over and over again and the website of the company so you can see some of the phrases and words the employer is interested in.
This can be synonyms used to describe a wide range of job titles (e.g. Sales Advisor, Retail Assistant), or even industry-specific terms and expand on the qualifications you have.
Using proactive descriptions
Anyone can say they are great at something, but the tricky part is backing it up.
This is why you should try to provide tangible examples for the skills you have mentioned. The STAR model is a great tool to use for this. Start by identifying the ‘Situation’ then ’Task’, ’Action’ and ’Result’ then formulating it into a short key point, and this will include the way you were able to achieve those results, and how the actions you took were able to address the situation and task.
This is going to help in clearly communicating the key points in the job section of the CV
This can also show you are able to go the extra mile in your responsibilities to make sure you get the results and achieve the goals of the project –and this will send out the message that you are able to deliver.
When you tell an employer you ‘worked on sales’, it doesn’t tell them much. When you say ‘I was able to increase the sales by 23% by using a different approach’, it positively helps you because you have quantified your abilities.
Tailoring the CV to a specific job.
One mistake people tend to make is a one-size-fits-all approach.
Sending the same CV to different employers is not going to be as effective as you might be thinking. You won’t impress employers doing this.
You should tailor your CV so that is in line with the position or role you are interested in. The guide when tailoring the CV is company information, job description, and other relevant details.
A CV gives you the chance to sell yourself to a potential employer, and this must involve emphasis on your skills and experience. If the skills you have listed aren’t relevant to the role you are applying for, then the employer will have no reason to hire you.
Using this approach to make a CV takes time, but it is way better than sending the same to different employers.
Remember the basics
You cannot stand out if you forget about the basics. The CV you write should be concise, clear, and to the point (you should try keeping it less than three pages). Before you submit your CV, thoroughly go through it so you can identify any error or mistakes if present.The CV should be easy to navigate. Make sure it is in a logic manner.
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