Does your CV pass the test?

4 steps to make sure your CV stands out from the crowd

Keeping up to date with the latest trends in recruitment is essential if you want to land your dream job. In today’s competitive job market, you need to make sure your CV catches the eye of those would-be employers. Nowadays this is easier said than done with an increasing number of large firms and recruitment agencies using computers to screen the CVs to be shortlisted for human contact. Not only that, but up to 90% of employers are said to be using some form of social media as part of their recruitment process and it’s clear that staying abreast of current trends is key to being successful in today’s recruitment market.

BluegoldfishFiona Clark, founder of Inspired Mums who is passionate about helping mums find family friendly and fulfilling work, gives her top tips on how to make sure your CV stand out from the crowd:

1. Key words are key!

The computers will be shortlisting candidates based on their suitability – and they do that by looking for the keywords that best match the job advert or spec. To make sure the computer picks out your CV remember to:

• Read the job advert and mirror the most important key words in your CV
• Put these key words as high up in your CV as possible. The personal profile at the top of your CV may be a good place to start.
• Tweak your language and if necessary adapt your job description – for example if your title was “Marketing Assistant” and the employer is looking for a “Marketing Executive” and it’s effectively the same thing, make sure you use their language.

2. Think online

It’s important to recognise that any potential employer will typically look at both your CV and your LinkedIn profile before an interview. So make sure that your LinkedIn profile is not only up to date and consistent with your CV, but that you are getting the maximum impact from it. Aim to make your profile engaging and informative so it doesn’t just look like a copy and paste job. For example – proactively ask people to write a recommendation for you, make sure your skills list is up to date and ask for endorsements. Finally, remember to include any other interesting projects or voluntary work that makes you stand out from the crowd. LinkedIn is such a powerful recruitment tool that you may then want to make it easy for an interviewer to find you by including the URL of your LinkedIn profile on your CV.

3. Keep it relevant

Recent research shows the average recruiter looks at a CV for just 7 seconds before deciding whether to put a candidate forward for a job so you need to make every word count! Remove anything that’s so ancient it’s no longer important, or any experience that doesn’t support your application for this particular role – remember to be ruthless to ensure your CV is impactful and concise, as it should never be more than 2 pages.

4. Get the basics right

Finally, don’t forget to keep to a clear layout that is easy to read. Avoid fancy fonts and keep the font size of 10 – 12 points with normal margin sizes. Remember your CV is an essential tool for marketing yourself, so don’t just write a list of your responsibilities, instead include all your tangible achievements and any quantifiable results and successes.

If you need further help making your CV stand out from the crowd or selling yourself with impact at interview, contact or phone 07789 597209.

Fiona Clark is a qualified confidence and career coach who founded Inspired Mums to inspire women to reach their full potential at work. She is passionate about helping women find fulfilling, family friendly roles.

Download Fiona’s FREE e-book – “For mums stuck in a career rut – 8 steps to finding work you love” TODAY. It’s packed with tips, exercises and inspiring case studies to get you out of your rut and on the way to your new career.

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