Great CV

How to build a great CV

In order to get ahead and score the best job opportunities, it is important to know how to present yourself and how to market your abilities. The first encounter recruiters and managers have with you is your CV. So, in order to have a headstart, it is important for it to be accurate, impressive, and relevant.

Only include key experiences

Less is more, especially when you are trying to impress a recruiter who has to read tens of applications or a busy manager. They know what matters and what doesn’t, and they don’t have time to lose with irrelevant details. To catch their attention and to demonstrate you understand what the job is about, you need to only include experiences that are key to the job you are applying for, or to your development. Even though more experience can mean better chances, including irrelevant details may suggest that you do not fully understand what the job entails. As a rule of thumb, a 1-2 pages CV with an aired out theme and a 12-sized font should be enough to impress anyone.

To help you keep it simple and on track, always consider the following aspects:
Making it relevant – always consider to what extent a certain experience might be relevant to the position you are applying for. If it didn’t equip you with a specific or relevant transferable skill, you can leave it out.
Making it tailored – always relate each experience to the job you are applying for. Being too general and letting the recruiters or the managers guess why a job or experience is relevant to your application is dangerous territory.
Making it stand out – always aim to stand out from the crowd and emphasize why each topic you are covering is highly important and how it has brought you where you are today.

If you have checked all the boxes so far, you have probably passed the first part of the screening process and the recruiter or manager will most likely take a closer look at everything in your CV.

Emphasize your personal input

When you are trying to impress you need to take charge. It is not enough to talk about your experiences, history, or responsibilities. In order for recruiters and managers to understand how you can help the company, you need to emphasize what your input was in your previous roles and projects. By talking about your results and development, you can help them visualize how you would fit in the role you are interested in.
Have you come up with a more efficient way to do things at your last job? Talk about it! Has your project received praise for overachieving when compared to the KPIs? Share some details! Have you developed a skill, changed your mindset, or learned about a new field? Highlight your progress!

Expertise and motivation are significant indicators for future success in a job. Only the fact that you have been in a similar position is not enough, so you need to let everyone see how driven and capable you are.

Make it quantifiable & use keywords

If your CV is relevant, accurate, up-to-date and your experiences describe your journey, capabilities, and motivation, you are already on a great track. To make sure you seal the deal and move to the next step of the process, you need to make sure that each experience in your CV is airtight. In order to do this, you need to make everything quantifiable and use relevant keywords.

Using numbers to quantify progress and measure success is standard practice in business, so you should be able to put the finger on the results for each position you have held. Talk about effectiveness, growth, development, reach, or anything that makes it relevant. Provide numbers, but do not exaggerate, because good recruiters and managers can easily spot a lie.

Using keywords and the appropriate language may sound like the most simple advice, but it is not. The devil is in the details, so you need to understand the job post to the best of your abilities and integrate its most relevant aspects into your CV. Does the job expect you to know how to operate a specific program, or maybe you need one specific skill to excel? Make sure you talk about them and don’t let opportunities go to waste to showcase your relevant abilities.

In sum, writing a good CV isn’t easy, and neither it is an exact science, but good all good CVs include a candidate’s relevant experiences, they emphasize how their skills and work has influenced the projects they have been part of, and, more importantly, they measure success in a quantifiable way, using the appropriate language. So, to have the best chances of scoring your next great job, make sure your CV does as well, and do not be afraid to let your personality shine through as well.

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