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How to Write a CV That Stands Out - Part 2

By Jocelyn Chapman, 27th January 2017

10 sure-fire ways to help ensure that your CV is at the top of the "call back" pile

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Following on from our post earlier this week on how to get your CV to the top of the call back pile, here’s the second half of our top 10 tips list.

6. Don’t lie!

Including lies or even half-truths on your CV is only ever going to end badly. At some stage or another, you will be caught out, it is just a question of when. Don’t claim to have skills that you don’t or to be able to use tools and programmes that you can’t, it will only lead to embarrassment and could also mean that you miss out on training that would really benefit you later down the line.

You do not want to start a new job and immediately lose it for lying, nor do you want to make things awkward at the interview stage if you can’t answer questions about things that you have claimed to know on your CV. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

7. Utilise keywords

There are certain keywords that employers will look out for, both in terms of professional and personal skills that they want to see. These are essential on your CV and will also mean that if you are uploading your CV to different jobsites, recruiters will find you more easily too. If you’re not quite sure which keywords to include, run a search online of both your current job title and your desired job title and see which words are most commonly mentioned alongside them.

When applying to larger companies, they will often utilise applicant tracking systems which can include CV screening software. Not having certain buzzwords and key phrases can instantly lead to rejection before an actual person has even seen your CV because it can get filtered out for not having them included.

8. Use stats and numbers where you can

It is much easier to sell yourself if you have numbers, facts and statistics to back up your achievements. If you increased sales, say by how much and over how long a period. If you brought on the highest number of new clients, say how many. Doing this will also give these facts greater validity and make them look even more impressive on paper.

If you are using numbers, make sure that they do not lead to further unanswered questions. “Increasing sales by 100%” sounds great on paper, but if a 100% increase was from £100 to £200, this isn’t going to sound so great in an interview!

This may not be relevant for everyone, but if it is possible for you to include it is good to do so. If you are a sales person, this should be a standard thing to include and not doing so can often lead to a rejection.

9. Make it visually appealing

We can’t help but judge by appearances a lot of the time, so make sure your CV looks like something that people want to read. Make sure it is easy on the eyes layout wise, breaking down large blocks of information with sub-categories and bullet points. Try to keep sentences shorter where possible and if you can, leave plenty of white space around each section of text to make it easier to read.

If you are applying for a creative role, then get creative with your layout and make yourself stand out. If your CV is more corporate, keep it slick and simple.

10. Always proof-read before you hit send

Whilst a lot of employers initially glance over CVs, when the time comes to look at them in great detail, they will be on the look-out for mistakes. Particularly when large volumes of applications are received, many employers will remove those with spelling or grammar mistakes immediately as these are such avoidable errors.

Good attention to detail is a prerequisite for so many jobs and not proof-reading your CV gives an excuse for your application to be dismissed.

Writing or re-writing a strong CV can sometimes seem like something of an arduous task, but doing so is something that is such an important factor in your job search. Your CV is a potential employer’s first impression of you, so needless to say, you want to make it a good one! Being mindful of these 10 key points should stand you in good stead. Good luck!

Tags: Candidate, Candidates, candidate advice, CV, job search, Job applications, job search advice, assign Jocelyn Chapman

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