By Ruoro Kairu
This week, while going through one of the newspapers, something caught my eye.
On the back page stood an advertisement.
This was the headline of the advertisement. It then went on to detail the advertiser’s experience. The professional has over 20 years working experience, they have an MBA and multiple other trainings, and they’ve worked in various multinational organizations.
The advert is likely a desperate measure, this professional must have sent hundreds of CVs without hearing back from employers.
Do you have the money to advertise on a regional newspaper?
Newspaper advertisements may not be the most effective way to market yourself. There is no telling if it will get to the right company. Even when it does get to the right company, you don’t know if it’s the hiring manager or the intern reading the newspaper.
A CV is your best chance of selling your skills and experience, and it remains the most effective way to get your dream job.
This, then, begs the question, how do you make your CV stand out? How do you ensure your CV doesn’t get lost amongst the countless other CVs in the pile?
I spoke with Ms. Rebecca –a professional CV writer, on what it takes to get your CV noticed.
Here are three effective tips as shared by the CV writing experts.
1. Capture the employer’s attention fast
In a previous piece, we learned it takes less than a minute for an employer to look over your CV and to decide whether to reject or approve your application. Read Does Your CV Pass The One Minute Rule.
Keeping this in mind, these are some of the effective ways to capture the attention of employers. ;
- A strong profile summary – Your profile summary is a great way to give the employer an overview of your skills, experience, background, and why you’re best suited for the position.
- A clean format – Your CV should have a clean and easy to read format. Use a professional font, an ideal font size, and keep away from long monotonous paragraphs.
- Highlights – Your CV shouldn’t appear as though it is one never-ending document. Incorporate headlines, boldened text, and bullets points.
With this, the employer will take an interest in your CV.
I spoke to an employer who had recently advertised a position in her company. I wanted to see if job seekers follow this advice.
To my surprise, she says, “Over 70% of the CVs I saw while shortlisting were unappealing. They had multiple fonts, unprofessional colors, some were too long, and others were too crowded and cluttered .”This sad reality could be what is standing between you and your dream job. If you are worried your CV doesn’t match the standards employers are looking for, talk to a professional CV writer today.
2. Use active words in your CV
When writing a CV, you’re trying to sell yourself as the best fit to the position. To achieve this, there are certain key words and phrases you can utilize.
To better illustrate this, imagine if you went to the doctor, and you asked them why they should treat you and they told you “I’m hardworking, results-oriented, and attentive to detail.”
Now, imagine if a second doctor told you “I have treated more than 100 patients successfully. I have also consulted for this illness for the past five years, and devised an effective way to diagnose the condition.”
Now, which of the two doctors would you go with? You’ve likely selected the second doctor.
Try the same experiment on other professions, an architect, a driver, an engineer, a mechanic and so forth. The results are all the same.
Why should your CV be any different?
Instead of using the same old clichés everyone else uses, go for the action words that will resonate with the employer and show your value.
Words such as devised, created, managed, resolved, and analyzed are active words. They show your direct impact and therefore, your value addition to the employer if they hire you.
3. Customize your CV before applying
When you apply for jobs without getting any feedback, it’s easy to get frustrated. This frustration can lead you to apply for any job that you see.
However, when it comes to CV writing, always go with quality over quantity. You’d rather make one application that counts than making ten that have little chance of succeeding.
So, how do you improve quality on your CV? Simple, once you find a job you qualify to, go over the job description, and list the key skills they are looking for. Afterward, naturally, place these keywords in your CV.
Note this only works if you are qualified for the job. If you force the skills on your CV, it will be evident to the employer.
Finally, you may not have the money to advertise your CV in a regional newspaper. Fortunately, you do not have to, having a professional CV will work just fine –if not better.
Are you looking to improve on your CV and increase your chances of getting a job? Get in touch with a professional CV writer and they will help you craft a master CV.