Making Your CV Stand Out: Five Key Tips and Examples

The job market offers plenty of opportunities for new job seekers. Here are five tips to help your job application stand out for your next job search.

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Make your CV stand out

If you want to make your CV stand out, you need to put time into customising and adapting it to fit your needs as well as the recruiter’s needs. Your job search doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating. If you’re able to follow a few CV writing tips, you can find your next job more easily. Here are a few tried-and-true ways to make your CV stand out in a crowded job market.

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Structuring your CV

Hiring managers pay attention to every part of a CV, including how it’s organised. If you want to make your CV as effective as possible, you need to structure your CV according to common standards. 
 
Contact information
 
Clear and correct contact information is needed from every applicant including your full name and phone number. You can also add your social media links, such as your LinkedIn profile.
 
Objectif statement
 
In this section, you give an overview of your top career highlights relevant to the position. Describe your professional or academic specialisations, key skills or relevant attributes, and key achievements to show why you’re the ideal candidate.
 
Summary of qualifications
 
This section should be focused on what you can offer to a potential employer by highlighting what makes you unique. You can also highlight your affiliations with any professional bodies or groups. Think of these as lengthier descriptions of the most important attributes that would otherwise belong on your skills list.
 
Core qualifications/Key Skills
 
These sections represent technical or special skills that directly reference the terms used in the job description.
 
Education
 
The education section should be presented in reverse-chronological order with your high school listed last and with the least detail — you do not need to include your grades.
Work history
 
This section should be presented in reverse-chronological order, just as with a professional CV, and highlight your main achievements and professional skills. Remember to include quantifiable metrics to demonstrate precisely what you contributed to past employers.
Awards
 
Academic and professional achievements you have received.
Certifications
 
Credentials earned via training online, night classes etc.
Publications
 
List research papers, articles or other published writing related to your work.
Grants and fellowships
 
Here you’d list financial grants or admittance into fellowships. This shows potential employers that you’ve proven yourself to influential people in your field.
Conferences
 
Shows your commitment to taking a more holistic interest in your industry through networking, learning from peers, and more.
Affiliations
 
Highlight which major, industry-relevant associations you’re a part of or have worked with directly.


Top 5 CV writing tips

You don’t need to be a professional CV writer if you want to write a CV. It’s a great start just to follow these five top writing tips. 
 
Pull keywords from the job description 
 
Recruiters get dozens, if not hundreds, of job applications for every open position. This is why the applicant tracking system (ATS) was invented. These systems scan every job application, looking for keywords and automatically rejecting the CV that don’t have enough keywords. Those keywords usually come straight from the job posting (e.g., specific skills and job requirements), which means that the more keywords you can address in your own CV, the better the likelihood of a hiring manager reading your CV.
 
Only include relevant experience 
Your CV typically needs to be one page or shorter. While two-page CV exist, they’re typically reserved for very experienced positions. That means you should be concise, and work history is one of the best places to do so. In this case, relevant experience means within the last 10 years, listing specific job skills you’ll also use at this job. 
 
Use metrics
 
Using quantitative metrics makes it easier for a hiring manager to understand your accomplishments. In a hiring manager’s mind, the difference between “Stellar sales leader” and “Led a team of six to £1m in sales over six months” is monumental. 
 
Include certifications 
 
If you have specific certifications, you can create a separate certifications section within your CV. These certifications can help you stand out from other job seekers in your industry, especially if they’re not industry-standard.
 
Personalise your CV for every job
 
 A general CV template is important to start your journey toward a new job. However, you should see this as a starting CV format to build on top of. You shouldn’t see this as your end goal. It’s important to personalise each CV to the specific job you’re applying for. Not only will this help with ATS, but it can also help the hiring manager not feel like your CV is a cookie-cutter.


FAQs: make your CV stand out

Q: How can I make my CV stand out visually?

There are many different visual designs you can use for a professional CV: a creative CV, a simple CV, a modern CV and many other different styles. The best way to make your CV stand out visually is to use a CV template that looks clean and polished. CVHelp CV templates are a great starting point.

Q: Do I have to write a cover letter?

You should write a cover letter. A cover letter is a crucial component of showcasing everything about yourself, including going more in-depth into experiences and skills that fit what the employer needs. Use the CVHelp cover letter builder if you aren’t confident in your ability to write your cover letter.

Q: Where can I get more help to create a professional CV?

You don’t have to be perfect at creating CV to create an outstanding CV. The best tool to craft a professional CV is the CVHelp CV builder, which provides expert suggestions and step-by-step instructions to create a strong CV. It’s also a great way to create as many CV as you need.

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