3 essential ways to make your CV template stand out
Writing a CV in today’s world is a lot easier than it used to be now we have the internet and an abundance of information at hand. However, making a CV stand out from the rest of the competition is not so easy!
Now you’ve downloaded one of our best CV templates, here are three of the most important things you can do to make your CV stand out.
1. Inject your USP into the CV
With literally hundreds of CVs being sent for just one role it can get very tiresome having to read through so many. You need something to set your application apart from all the other CVs, and this is where your USP can be utilised to stand out from the crowd.
The best CVs have something unique included to get noticed. For instance, it could be a blog or website that you’ve created which aligns with the industry. Provide a link to it, and ensure that it’s clearly highlighted on your CV and not hidden within any text.
Or it could be that you have a unique qualification and/or skill which you are keen to showcase within your CV. Try to steer clear from making a generic CV which is going to blend into the background along side the hundreds of others. Look for something which you know will stand out on the page and leave the reader with a positive lasting impression.
Finally, think about a time during your career when you achieved something outstanding. It could be a particular qualification, but it could also be performance related. Always provide actual numbers to backup your claims – sales figures, revenue generated, targets hit, and so on.
To find your USP, consider:
- Which of your skills, experiences and knowledge fields stand out?
- Which ones are unique to you (or difficult to find)?
- If you can’t find one unique thing that shines through, perhaps you can find a unique and uncommon combination of things?
Read more: How can my CV demonstrate my previous performance?
2. Create an outstanding personal statement
You may notice this article contains the word ‘generic’ quite a lot, and that’s because it’s important to realise that creating a generic CV is your worst enemy. An employer isn’t looking for someone who can just walk straight into the job and do it well, because most of the applicants would be expected to be able to do that. An employer is looking for someone who goes that extra mile and shines above the rest.
This is why creating an exceptional personal statement is vital if you want to create a great first impression. Here are some tips on how to create that stand out personal statement –
- The best CVs use the personal statement as a sales pitch
- Focus on who you are and what you can offer the employer
- Use the job description to identify what’s most important to the employer
- Avoid a clichéd generic personal statement – make yours unique
- Highlight impressive skills, qualifications and achievements
- Keep your personal statement entirely relevant to the role
- Keep it short and to the point
Break your personal statement down into three parts. Focus on:
- who you are
- what you can offer
- your career aims.
Read more: How to write a personal statement or profile for your CV
3. Use keywords from the job advert
Most of the time HR professionals, hiring managers and recruiters search for candidates using social media sourcing or using internal databases, therefore making sure your CV consists of searchable terms that directly correspond to the sector, job or company that you are targeting is imperative.
~ Morgan McKinley
Look for the obvious stand out keywords from the job advert and use those throughout your CV. Try not to overdo it, and be subtle with how you incorporate them. If the company has advertised that they are looking for a dynamic individual, hard working with great communication skills and experience in sales; then already you’ve got some fantastic keywords which you can use to describe yourself (although remember, claiming these skills alone isn’t enough – you must provide evidence of them in your work history and/or other sections of your CV).
What skills and qualifications do you expect the employer to want from a candidate?
Have they specifically stated these in the job advert?
Take note of how your potential employer has worded certain requirements and match that wording. This will this assist the recruiter who is scanning your CV for certain credentials. It will also ensure that these essential keywords are picked up by any automated software the recruiter uses to scan your CV.
- Read the job ad closely and highlight all the words describing what the employer is looking for.
- Think about how your skills and abilities align to these requirements.
- Tailor your application so you only include the skills and experience that match what is being asked for in the job ad.
- Reflect the employer’s language in your application. Repeat the employer’s keywords and phrases as they apply to you.