Have you ever wondered what you need to do to make your CV stand out from the rest and increase your chances of attracting the attention of human resources personnel?
In this article we are going to give you some tips so that your CV does not go unnoticed
The Secret to making your CV stand out
Most Curriculum Vitae can be described as“a list of titles and previous jobs“. Take a look at most CVs (and if your resume fits this description, don’t be ashamed to admit it) What will you find? A list of the various titles the person holds and the places they have previously been working.
When so many people submit this type of CV, we get into the numbers and experience game, meaning that the person with the most degrees or years of experience is likely to be the one chosen for the position.
So what is the key to getting noticed?
Ask yourself the following question: What can you do for the company? Can you get more clients? Increase their profits? Save them money? Do tasks faster and more efficiently?
If you want your CV to stand out, you need to develop a unique value proposition that makes it clear what your work brings to the company.
There’s no point in listing your qualifications or the companies you’ve worked for if you can’t show the benefits you can bring to your job.
Your value proposition will make you stand out completely from the rest and will capture the attention of the human resources person, which will increase the chances that you will at least get an initial interview where you can present yourself much better than your CV allows you to.
Curling it up a notch. The Unique CV
Every company is unique, with different objectives and obstacles. Analyzing these characteristics will allow you to create a unique value proposition tailored to the company, which will get you noticed immediately.
Imagine that you work in graphic design and your specialty is web design, and you realize that the company you are interested in belonging to does not have a website or the one they have is not very well designed. This can be the basis of your value proposition, detailing how to improve their website and how it will benefit their company.
The structure of your value proposition is simple:
- Point out those aspects of the company that you believe may be hurting it or that are not being used to their full potential
- Describe what solutions you provide and what benefits the company will benefit from applying those solutions
We are not saying that you should make a unique CV for each company, since sometimes, there will be companies that will not even bother to read your CV. But for those occasions when you are targeting companies with a human resources department, creating a CV tailored to the company will increase your chances of success.
what format or structure should the content of your CV have?
Your value proposition should be the main element of your CV and your qualifications and previous experience should support this proposition.
This is the structure we recommend when writing your curriculum:
- Value proposition
- Previous experience
what information should you include in your CV?
One of the most frequent questions most people ask themselves when writing their CV is: What information should I include in my CV? Here we are going to give you a small guide on what information you should and should not include.
Keep in mind that these are general rules and there will be times when there are exceptions, so use common sense when choosing what information to include in your CV.
Things to keep in mind when designing a CV
Keep your CV clear and concise
It takes an employer an average of 30 seconds to skim through a resume. You want them to see right away that you are qualified for the position.
Proofread your CV several times
Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Have someone else read it as well. A simple spelling mistake on a CV can make a negative impression on the employer. It may even prevent you from getting the job.
Limit your CV to two pages
Put the emphasis of your cv on your most recent experience. Older jobs and experience over 15 years should be eliminated or kept to a minimum. This will allow the employer to focus on the most relevant information.
Tailor your CV to the position you are applying for
Specify work experience or accomplishments that are related to the position you are applying for. To do this, check the job description or the website of the company offering the job.
Highlight your achievements
You should be able to identify the best examples where you have demonstrated your skills. These examples should speak to what you have accomplished in your position and should demonstrate what type of employee you are. It is best to include this information in the “Work Experience” section of your CV.
Lying on your CV is never a good idea. You don’t want to exaggerate your skills or results, as that will mislead the employer. Be confident in what you can offer.
Quantify your accomplishments
Use firm numbers that the employer will understand and be impressed by. For example, how many people you have supervised, how many products you have sold, by what percentage sales have increased, etc.
Use simple words and action verbs
The person reading your cv is not always the employer. Resumes may be reviewed by recruiters or HR specialists who may not be familiar with your specific field.
Use plain and simple language, but also persuasive verbs such as handled, managed, led, developed, developed, augmented, achieved, leveraged, etc.
Include unpaid work that showcases your skills
If you have volunteered for a well-known organization or worked for an important cause, put that on your CV. You should include these experiences under “Work Experience” or “Volunteer Work,” especially if they are related to the position you are applying for.
Check and include your contact information
Your CV should include your name, address, email address and phone number. This information should be placed at the top of the first page. Also, make sure this information is correct. Otherwise, the employer will not be able to contact you.
What NOT to do when writing your CV
Let’s detail some things you should avoid when writing your CV. Every detail counts and by keeping the following tips in mind, we are sure you will manage to stand out from other job applicants.
Don’t use an inappropriate email address
Make sure your email is easy to read, easy to type, professional and non-offensive. In general, your email address should be based on your name. Exclude any nicknames, numbers or special characters.
Do not include unnecessary personal information
It is best to omit any personal details such as age, weight, height, marital status, religious preferences, political views, or any other personal attributes that may be controversial. This will avoid any possible bias.
Don’t use too many bullet points
Make your CV easy to read by limiting each section or subsection of the resume to 5-7 bullet points. This will make it easier for the employer to read your CV and identify your potential. Each bullet point should be used intelligently, keeping the information relevant and concise.
Do not use personal pronouns
Do not use “I”, “me” or “my”. Write your CV in the third person, as if someone else were writing it.
Don’t just list job responsibilities
Your job duties will be obvious from your job title. Instead, highlight your accomplishments by putting a personal spin on your job duties and providing concrete examples.
Don’t make general statements
Avoid vague statements that don’t highlight your real contribution. Unclear statements such as “Responsible for improving efficiency and saving costs” provide no information to the employer. Personalize your experience.
Another example is to use typical characteristics such as “Resolute”, “Creative”, “Team player”, etc. that are very general, many people use them and they don’t say anything about you.
Do not include the reasons why you left your previous jobs
The main objective of your CV is to promote you, your skills, experience and achievements. It should be totally positive and, therefore, should not include the reasons why you left, as it does not add any value.
Do not include references
An employer only requires references if they are seriously considering hiring you. Keep references on a separate sheet of paper and provide them only when specifically requested.
Do not include hobbies or interests
It is not advisable to mention hobbies because of the judgments potential employers may make. However, if your hobbies are related to the position, you can include them, as they can demonstrate to the employer why you are the best candidate.
should I include my photo on my CV?
This is one of the big dilemmas when writing a curriculum: should I include my personal photo or not?
In many European countries such as France, England or Ireland a photo is not usually used on the CV. In the U.S. and most of America, it is not mandatory to include your photo. But in Spain it is customary to do so.
Although there are many modern companies that do not take into account the photo on the resume when choosing candidates, it is still common to include it.
Our advice for Spain is that you do include your photo on your CV. And of course, try to make it as professional as possible.
How to design a professional CV
If you have knowledge of graphic design, you can put your creativity to work and design a personalized CV taking into account the tips proposed in this article.
But if you are not very skilled in design or simply want to create your CV with a professional look in a quick and easy way, here is an article with “The best applications to design a professional CV“