Power up your CV in 6 easy steps
It’s tough out there in the job market! You need more than a CV rich with qualifications and archives of experience to guarantee an interview. Find out what recruiters are looking for – and why – and how you can punch up your CV to get noticed with these 6 easy CV writing tips.
1. Get inside a recruiter’s brain
Companies are in the business of making money, and achieving that requires hitting targets. Recruiters need your CV to show, among other things, how well you can perform and meet commercial needs. Whether it’s a junior role or management position, performance boils down to budgets, targets, objectives and tangible outcomes. A great CV must reflect how you meet those needs.
2. It’s all about metrics
If the goal of most businesses is making money, then metrics certainly matter, according to US jobs board ZipRecruiter. The problem with most CVs is that people simply list their duties rather than quantify their accomplishments using facts and figures.
Proof of the pudding is in the numbers, so clearly illustrate your business performance using numerical data such as targets and results. Phrases that tell recruiters what you did, by what number or percentage, offer a tangible sense of your achievement.
3. Focus on the return on investment (ROI)
Use numbers to highlight what you’ll bring to the business in exchange for the package they’re offering. How did you impact profits, sales growth etc., and what did it mean for the business or former clients?
A surefire way to cut through a pile of CVs is, as jobs board Monster says, to tailor your CV to the goal of making money. Demonstrate in hard numbers everything from how you’ve earned, saved or even managed money across your previous and current roles.
4. Show your working
A classic counterpart to telling is showing. A packed portfolio can win huge brownie points. Borrow a technique from arts, TV, film and advertising creatives and showcase your work. Recruitment website Work It Daily recommends having links to work-related social media profiles, and news articles or press releases reporting on (or related to) your accomplishments.
5. Make yourself a perfect match
With so many CVs to assess, screeners rely on their own criteria to ensure you tick all the right boxes before shortlisting you for interview.
This check list is primarily based on the job specification, so align your CV as closely as possible to it. That way, it does the hard work for you, and for whoever’s reading through the CVs.
A classic technique is ‘mirroring’. Borrow relevant phrases and bullet points from the spec to show that you can fulfil their requirements – when they’re scanning your CV they’ll see a direct match without having to decipher whether or not you’re right for the role.
6. Strike a balance between fitting in and standing out
Your CV isn’t just a dry run-through of your achievements; it’s about who you are as a person. As subjective as it sounds, it needs to reveal something about your personality and whether you’ll be a cultural and character fit for your prospective new client or employer.
As Total Jobs points out, use short punchy statements to reflect a likeable communicative style without the waffle; like yourself, but more formal. Not only is plainer English easier to scan, but it also shows that you’re open and straightforward – and that helps create trust.