How to make your CV stand out and get noticed

Jan 6, 2020 | General

So, you’re looking for a new job. Sounds exciting, or maybe even a little scary! Here are some tips to help you prepare your CV and present yourself well so you can get that interview.

Tips to prepare a great curriculum vitae

Every time you apply for a job, you compete with 250 other applicants on average. Recruiters spend about 6 seconds scanning each CV, so first impression is key! Make it easy for the reader to see why you’re a great fit.

  1. Choose a clear, legible font. Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman 12/14 point with single line spacing is best.
  2. Be consistent with your layout. Make all headings bold, keep your date formats the same, use the same bullet points throughout and ensure the structure is consistent.
  3. No need for photos. Unless it is specifically asked for, a photo is not necessary. If you do add a photo, ensure it is a high quality professional looking picture.
  4. Keep your CV brief and relevant. You don’t need to include all the details of your life. Do include important info, if you’re in Sales, what do you sell and to who? Are you a ‘’hunter’’ or a ‘’farmer’’, what are your targets, what do you achieve?  If you manage Projects, what Projects, what are the Project Values, what is your focus?
  5. Start with your most recent position. List when you worked there, the position you held and what your roles and responsibilities were.
  6. Tailor make your CV to the type of role you are applying for. Direct the necessary focus and emphasise aspects of your education and/or experience that pertain to your desired position.
  7. Check and double check your spelling and grammar. A flawless CV tells a potential employer that you are someone that will be an asset to the organisation.

Your CV must have a logical and “reader-friendly” flow to it. A basic structure to follow would be:

  • Personal information, such as name, date of birth and contact details.
  • Education and Qualifications in chronological order starting from most recent
  • Skills, such as MS Office, Adobe, etc.
  • Employment history in chronological order starting from most recent (include major achievements). Keep STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) acronym in mind. Highlight your achievements, and make sure it covers these areas.
  • References, with the name, company and contact detail of each. Ensure these people are the superior you reported to and not a colleague or friend.
  • Ensure that your CV is in an accepted format for ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). Formatting is very important here. Avoid serif fonts such as Times New Roman, fancy symbols, tables and pictures.

Once you’ve landed the interview, follow these tips.