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6 Ways to Make Your CV Stand Out in a Tough Job Market

Whether you have just finished school or were laid off from your last job, you’re now facing a competitive job market. While you might be qualified to have the job and are great in person, making your CV stand out is essential to get noticed, and you need to have the right strategy in place to make sure that it gets the attention of the right people. Here are 6 ways that you can make your CV more attractive.

Be Smart with Your Choice of Keywords

One thing you should do is always keep keywords in mind when you’re writing your CV. First, make sure that you include some of the keywords from the job description in your CV. This will increase the odds you’ll look like a match to both hiring managers and applicant tracking systems that store CVs. In the latter case, employers will search the CVs they’ve already received for candidates who are a match for the skills and experience they want.

Try to use the exact words and phrases they’re looking for. For example, you should describe your prior job as a retail assistant or sales advisor if that’s the job title they’re currently hiring for.

Emphasise Your Skills

Employers are looking for people who have the knowledge and experience to succeed in their currently open position. Focus your CV on the skills that you have, whether these are programming languages or foreign languages. Include this information in your summary to make the right first impression.

Earn Valuable Credentials

A degree falls into this category, but you don’t have to go to university to earn certifications that help you stand out from the crowd. For example, having something like a first-aid certificate will score points with a lot of employers. Some may see it as a way to save on training, while others will understand the importance of having someone like you on their team.

If you want to know more about first aid certifications, Skills Training Group has a guide on how to gain a first-aid certificate. You’ll also learn how long a first aid certificate lasts. Also, it talks about who should get their first aid certifications and why employers favour employees that have theirs, like being able to appoint them as first aiders, for instance.

Earning certifications like this can demonstrate personal growth. There are also many cases where it will be a prerequisite or preference for the job.  For example, nurseries and schools prefer people with a paediatric first-aid certificate.

Tough Job Market

Focus on Results

Don’t waste time bragging about your attitude or personality. They don’t care if you bring enthusiasm to the job. What they really want to know is whether you’ll be able to do the job or not.

Spend time describing the results you’ve achieved, and make it as precise as possible. This could be increasing sales 10% year over year or managing projects over a million pounds while staying on time and within budget.

Make sure to give as much hard data as you can when you have it. For example, say that you increased customer engagement 38% with your social media marketing campaign instead of simply saying you managed their corporate social media accounts. Use proactive descriptions too.

Customise the CV for the Job You’re Applying For

You may want to create a custom CV for every type of job you’re applying for, or at least have a part that will be easily customisable. Each CV would list the job experience, skill sets, and accomplishments related to that type of position. This saves you the hassle of completely rewriting your CV every time. Then you only have to make minor changes based on the current job description instead of adding and removing skills based on what is relevant to that company.

Don’t Neglect the Basics

You want a clear, concise, and short CV. The ideal CV is one page, but it should never be more than two pages, so try to keep everything as concise as possible. However, many little mistakes can hurt your first impression with recruiters no matter how many skills you list.

For example, your CV could be thrown in the bin if it has major grammar mistakes. Typographical errors can hurt you too, and that could even be in the form of a typo in an email address or phone number that prevents them from getting back to you. So, make sure that you look it over as many times as you can, and consider having it looked over by a professional if you’re worried about your grammatical skills.

The average CV has six to seven seconds to convince someone not to reject it. Do everything you can to make your CV more attractive, so that it lands in the interview pile.

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