Recruiters receive a mountain of applications from candidates looking to find their dream careers.
Therefore, you won’t be surprised to hear that they won’t be spending long going through your CV and at best will simply skim to find the keywords that relate to the position they’re hiring for.
So if your CV doesn’t include the information that recruiters are searching for, there is a good chance it might not be seen.
Have you been looking for a job for a while now? Have you applied for jobs but not heard anything back?
Your CV may have been neglected of the attention it deserves, so here are 22 ways you can improve your CV to catch the eye of the recruiter and succeed in 2022:
1. Only include these details at the top of your CV
This is a no-brainer, but make sure you have your name, professional title (if applicable), and your contact details right at the top, so they are the first thing a recruiter will see. Don’t add information that isn’t relevant and simply just takes up space in this area.
2. Think strategically by using bold, caps, and italics
Make your name and job title stand out amongst other details, it’s important that you ensure these stand out in comparison to the rest of your CV. Whichever you choose to do, be consistent e.g. if you’ve made subheadings bold, make them all bold.
3. How readable is your font?
Just because it’s a CV does not mean that it must only be in Times New Roman! While it’s recommended you avoid fonts like Comic Sans, choosing a slightly different font that is easy to read is one sure way to make your CV stand out, some examples include Verdana or Arial.
4. Create a tidy layout with text and white space
Wondering how you can make sure your CV is aesthetically pleasing to the recruiters' eye? Simply balancing your text and white space will create a presentable and easy-to-read CV.
5. Format your CV
One way to make your CV stand out from the crowd is to switch up the format, remembering the recruiter will likely be reading through numerous CVs which may be formatted in a similar way. You can make sure yours stands out from the rest by for example by putting your skills, as this is a section valued by recruiters to help them identify if you’re the right fit.
6. Consider the recruiters' needs
As noted at the beginning, recruiters receive a sea of applications and it has been said they won’t look at your CV for longer than 8 seconds, ideally, your CV should be no longer than a page or two.
7. Have you read the job description?
This is an important step! How many times have you read the description to see if you’re the right person for the job? Is there anything that may make this position not suitable for you - is the location close enough? What are the working hours? This is your chance to ensure the position is right for you but also allows you to tailor your CV and showcase how you’re the right person for the job.
8. Tie it all together
Now is the time to make sure your CV is adapted for the online world, recruiters will now be looking at more than just your CV if they think you’re a potential match for their jobs, they could search your LinkedIn profiles. Therefore you can make it easier for them by including links on your CV so they can find out more about you and what you’re passionate about.
9. Make sure your cover letter supports your CV
It’s important to make sure your CV and cover letter support each other. To do this you can start by writing your cover letter and breaking down the key points which you can then later go on to reference in your CV.
10. No more than 1 or 2 pages
It’s not required that you must list every single responsibility you have been involved in in a previous or current role, you can simply list the responsibilities that relate to the job you’re applying for. Including achievements is a great way to demonstrate the success you’ve had.
11. Avoid including jargon
Using layman's terms when creating your CV ensures that the person hiring will understand what you’re trying to convey as just because they’re hiring for a fee earner for example doesn’t necessarily mean they know all about the role. Keep it simple.
12. Utilise the CV ‘hot spot’
The upper-middle area on the first page of your CV is known as the ‘CV hotspot’ as it is where the recruiters' eyes will naturally fall when scanning your CV. It is crucial you include ‘key’ points here, whether that be achievements, attributes, or your most important experience.
13. Use figures to stand out
If you’ve included some of your achievements it can be beneficial to back these up with figures, they support what you have stated you’ve done in your current role and are a great way to show the recruiter how effective you could be at the company.
14. Add achievements to your experience section
Adding achievements within your experience section will instantly tailor your CV and illustrate a skill of responsibility this is an excellent way to stand out from other candidates who may have the same skill set
15. Tailor your CV to the job description
Tailoring your CV to the job description is your chance to make sure the recruiter scanning your CV knows that you are the right person for the job. As noted above, the recruiter is looking for specific keywords relating to the role, have you included these on your CV?
16. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Another no-brainer and it’s a task that doesn’t take long to do but can make a big difference, is proofreading. Whether it’s a friend, a tool such as Grammarly, or your read over it 3x to check if you’ve spent time crafting your CV it only makes sense to ensure it is perfect before applying.
17. Include hobbies and interests section
Including this section on your CV gives the recruiter a glimpse into you as a person and is your chance to highlight any interests and hobbies that you may have which also relate to the role you’re applying for.
18. Never LIE
This is an obvious one, we’re sure! It is always best to remember that everything on your CV may be investigated by the recruiter and you could be questioned on it at any moment. If you feel you cannot confidently back up what you have included on your CV then remove it.
19. Send a thank you/follow-up email
Writing a thank you email shortly after attending an interview is a great way to show good etiquette but also stand out from the crowd.
20. Highlight any promotions
Highlighting any promotions is a great way to showcase you have progressed in your career, again you can use this as an opportunity to tailor your key responsibilities within this section to the job description.
21. Include additional activities
Including activities that relate to the role that you have undertaken outside of work can also be a good way to highlight your desire to learn e.g. have you taken a course recently? or have you completed a certification to grow your skills? Perhaps you’ve taken part in volunteering in your spare time, including these on your CV is a great idea.
22. Do not include a photo on your CV
There is no need for a photo to be included on a standard CV, recruiters are interested in the skills and knowledge you can bring to them!
If you've already got a written CV, get it reviewed by our partners at Top CV for FREE here!
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash