How To Make My CV Stand Out: Professional Tips
Recruiters receive hundreds of resume in response to every job opening. Obviously, they are not in a position to read into every single resume to identify the best fitting candidate. That’s why yours should be an attention-grabber and attract the attention in the matter of seconds.
Many big and medium-sized companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) these days. They are aimed to ease and streamline the hiring process and weed out the totally irrelevant applications. Nevertheless, if your resume passes the ATS selection, it still has to be more eye-catching that those of your competitors. When a recruiter reviews your resume, every second counts.
So, how to make your CV stand out? Should you use a CV maker online or write it on your own? The resume writers wanted in any reputable company will share some insights that will help your resume and cover letter stand out immediately.
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- Think twice before you apply for the job
If your resume has a little response rate, it might be that your resume is written incorrectly. However, the roots of the problem can be in your applying for jobs beyond your scope of expertise. Sending your resume for jobs when you do not meet the minimal qualifications requirements won’t take you anywhere.
Career experts usually recommend applying if you meet no less than 70-80% of requirements listed. In the same time, you need to 100% match the eligibility for the position to even be considered. Your education level, security clearance, and years of experience should match.
- Enrich it with a plenty of relevant keywords
Keywords are extremely important. Keywords are your tools for making it through the ATS and getting your resume seen by a real person. They encompass both job-specific skills and personality traits that are expected for the position and show that you fit into the employer’s requirements.
However, keywords should be used naturally in your resume. Don’t try to stuff your resume with them to trick the system to get your resume more attention – it often has an opposite effect. You can find more information on using keywords correctly and efficiently here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/why-keywords-are-so-important-for-successful-resume.
- Make your resume visually powerful
Whether you like it or not, your resume is a visual document. And it’s a visual appearance and layout that often determines whether your resume will be read carefully or not.
So, make sure to create a document which is not only informative, but is also pleasant to read. Apply an organized and symmetrical layout that will encourage the reader to give it more consideration and a thorough read.
Your resume shouldn’t look like a college essay with plain blocks of dense text. Recruiters hate such resumes as it means they’ll have to read into this text in attempts to discover something worth of attention. That’s why such resumes are often tossed. Leave a plenty of blank space on the page – 300-400 words per page are more than enough.
- Don’t include a headshot
Adding a picture of yourself to the US resume is considered highly unprofessional. If you wonder “How to make my own CV online?” you need to be careful about this point. Including a picture is okay only if the employer specifically mentioned that in a job posting (preferably for acting and modeling jobs).
- Prepare a visual presentation
A written resume and LinkedIn profile are good, but how about getting beyond the expectation and adding some creativity? If the prospective job requires extensive communication with people and out-of-box thinking, try completing your application with a visual presentation of yourself. What can a presentation cover? A talk of your skills, case study from your experience or some kind of advertisement – anything that might help you with getting an interview.
A video presentation requires a good speech, ability to talk on the camera and basic video editing skills. However, if in addition to making online professional CV you’ll attach a link to presentation, you’ll definitely be remembered.
- Tailor your resume
Yes, this advice is as old as the hills. Yes, it sounds like a lot of work. Yet it’s proven that generic, non-tailored resumes get significantly less response rate comparing to those targeted closely for a specific job listing.
Targeting means that your resume should be written in a way that shows you’re a great match for this particular job. It includes keywording, prioritizing your experience and using the same language as the employer does. So, when contacting a resume expert and asking “Make my CV”, provide a job posting to make your resume a few times more effective.
- Add a compelling heading
When a recruiter opens your resume, they need to know at a glance at which position you are applying for and what your key strength is. Some resumes make the hiring managers guess which role they apply for (especially if there are multiple similar openings in the company).
So, don’t make them guess. Impress them with a catchy headline which includes the position name and your main selling point. It can be a skill or blend of skills, or simply something you’re great at. Make sure your resume supports that statement. You can use powerful resume words example to strengthen it.
- Take advantage of a professional website or blog
In a digital era, simple words are not enough. This is especially true for those who can provide evidence of their developed skills and expertise – writers, programmers, designers, photographers, etc.
A resume is your ticket for an interview. Professional website which displays the key milestones of your career, as well as samples of your previous work, help you impress the recruiter in a trice and sell your skills better. If your profession doesn’t allow you to provide the visible, easy-to-notice results, consider creating a professional blog. Media influencers are more trustworthy (and usually better paid) than those who don’t have the solid web presence.
- Use the ‘golden triangle’ rule to your advantage
As your resume is initially being scanned in the matter of seconds, it’s highly important where you put the most important information about yourself. It has been found that the recruiters typically scan resumes in the shape of the right triangle – checking information at the top and then down to the left side. So, here’s where your key information should be concentrated.
- Focus on the results, and give them numbers
You can be very detailed about your job responsibilities, however, this isn’t something recruiters are interested in. They want to see the results of your work – how exactly your actions benefited the company, and the more you can support the statements with figures, the better.
Don’t be a do-er, be an achiever. When putting something on your resume, ask yourself “So what? Why should this be on my resume?” This simple question will make your resume result-oriented. And this is the kind of resume recruiters value most.
- Be ruthless towards mistakes
Yes, this tip is definitely for someone else. You know the grammar rules and your resume is definitely error-free. However, you do need to proofread it once again.
Many applicants make typos or punctuation errors because they write in a hurry or fail to give it a careful spell check. If the hiring manager decides to read your resume from the top to the bottom, you need to be sure it’s 100% error-free. This will support his perception of you as a candidate that deserves an interview call.
Here you can read why punctuation marks are that important for a resume.
- Add a compelling cover letter
If the employer requests to apply with a resume and a cover letter, don’t neglect this requirement. Instead, see it as an opportunity to impress them with a well-written, up-to-the-point narrative of why you are exactly the person they’re looking for.
Never see a cover letter as a mundane obligation, and do not reiterate the same facts your resume said. Here you can go away from simply presenting the fact and try connecting with the hiring manager on a personal level. There are plenty of tools to do that: tell about your close connection to the company mission, mention relevant success in their field, share the alignment of your personal goals with working for the company.
The bottom line
Writing a CV is a hard work, and writing a good CV is a kind of art. Simply presenting your career history are far not enough in a highly competitive economy. However, if you incorporate the above advice and highlight your success story and potential, you’ll inevitably get noticed.
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