Looking for a few handy tips on how to make your CV stand out from the crowd and easy to read through? Here’s how …

Font, spelling and grammar:

Choose a simple font size and style – Start with the basics and use a simple font style such as Arial or Times New Roman: the less fussy the better. Then ensure it is a comfortable size to read such as 11 or 12. Already you are showing the reader that you want to make your CV as easy for them to read as possible in the limited time they will have available.

Check your spelling and grammar – Next seize the chance to create a professional impression and demonstrate your attention to detail (a bonus skill). If you were going out on a date you would spend time on your appearance and this is no different. Ensure that your punctuation is in the right place and that the grammar is correct. If you are not sure, ask a trusted adult to check through your CV for you. Try to avoid spellchecking software if at all possible as it can often use American spellings, but anything is better than nothing if it means that you avoid spelling mistakes and typos.

Keep it brief:

Make it punchy – Another tip for making your CV easy to read through is to make it brief and punchy. The aim is to secure you an interview so you can promote ‘Product-You’ in person. If you can attract the reader’s attention with the headlines in a brief, punchy CV, you’ll then get the chance to provide more of the detail in person later. Besides, the recruiter or employer will not want to spend long looking through your CV as they will have so many others to consider as well.

Recent at the top – Aim to put the most recent content (exams, education, work experience) at the top of each section in reverse chronological (time/date) order. We covered the layout of your CV in earlier blogs (25/01 and 01/02) and it correctly assumes that a recruiter or employer is most interested in what you have achieved most recently (or what you are currently doing).

Make careful use of bold – There’s also nothing wrong with also using bold font to highlight keywords, achievements and relevant content which is perhaps lower down the chronological order if it was completed some time ago.

Speak their language:

One size does not fit all – In the case of a CV, it is not appropriate to try to use the same basic document for all your applications. The recruiter will spot this easily and chances are you will not make it to interview if your content is the same for every job you are applying for. Likewise, a recruiter will find your CV much easier to read if it focusses on them and is written in their ‘language’.

Show that you have done your research about the employer – Check the employer’s website for insight about their brand culture and for information about the type of staff that work for them. If they talk about the quality of their products and service, ensure that you reference how you provide quality and excellence in all that you do – with specific examples to back it up. When they talk about their professional staff who build excellent client relations, evidence how you too have strong interpersonal skills.

And show that you completely understand the vacancy you are applying for – Again, read and re-read the advertisement before matching your now transferable skills to those in the advert. If they are looking for someone with a good level of computer knowledge, talk about any IT exams you may have taken, your proficiency in Microsoft Office and in social media. There’s more on Transferable Skills on an Information Page at the bottom of the Careersnearhere website here: https://www.careersnearhere.com/tips/transferable-skills/ and in our previous blogs on Facebook.

Remember the analogy of your CV being like a sales brochure to show off a new car, so these tips are to show you how to focus on the detail and present your ‘car’ (Product-You) in the best possible way. Next week, more ways to make a powerful impact with your CV and really wow an employer or recruiter!

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