How to make your CV stand out Employment

If you’re looking for a job, the place to start is with your CV. This document is the first impression you’ll make on an employer and, in such a competitive job market, it needs to stand out from the crowd. Especially when you consider that recruiters only look at a CV for around 7 seconds before making a decision on the candidate.

So, how do you go about making your CV stand out from the crowd?

In this article, we’ll look at a few ways you can do this depending on the type of role you’re searching for.

How To Make Your CV Stand Out

A CV is a document that sums up your skills, experience, qualifications and key achievements. It gives recruiters and employers a bird’s eye view of who you are as a person, your motivations and your ambitions.

Your CV is the first chance to show an employer why you are suitable for the role you are applying for.

Start With A Strong (But Short) Personal Statement

A personal statement should be a concise summary of your skills and key accomplishments. This is one of the most important parts of your CV as it is most likely the first thing an employer or recruiter will read. The aim of your personal statement is to grab their attention and encourage them to look further into your application.

Personal statements look different from person to person because we all have different skills and accomplishments. This short introduction should quickly tell the employer or recruiter who you are, what your skills are and why they should hire you.

Here’s an example:

“I am an enthusiastic and hardworking individual looking to start a career in retail. Through my recent voluntary experience at a local charity shop, I have developed strong customer service and communication skills, as well as the ability to work well both in a team and independently. I am very eager to progress in retail and expand on the skills I have learned through volunteering and completing an online course in Retail Knowledge.”

In this example, the person shows that they have recent experience in a retail and customer service environment, as well as having completed a course in Retail Knowledge. Both of these things tell a potential employer that the person is motivated to move forward in their career and could be a good candidate for the role.

Personalise Your CV

If you’re applying for lots of jobs it can be really tempting to send out the same CV for each one. But you’ll have a better chance of standing out from the crowd if you personalise your CV for each job you’re applying for.

To do this, take a look at the company, job description and the person specification (this is usually a list of skills, experience and attributes they are looking for) and be sure that you include evidence of each of these things in your CV.

For example, if the person specification says they are looking for an individual who has good communication skills and customer service skills, make sure these features are included in your CV with evidence to back it up!

Highlight What Makes You Different

Your CV is all about putting yourself forward as the best choice for the job. So, shout about what sets you apart from others. Have you been volunteering recently? Are you a member of a club or sports team? Do you do anything in your spare time that will make you stand out?

For each job you’re applying for, make a list of all of your unique selling points that are related to the role you are applying for – then put them in your CV. This is especially important if you are looking for work straight after school/college or you’ve not worked for a while, as it gives you something recent and relevant to highlight to recruiters.

Use The STAR Method

While it’s easy to say you have experience in doing something, it’s harder to show evidence of that in a CV. That’s where the STAR method comes in. STAR stands for:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Activity
  • Result

You can use the STAR method for things you have done at work, in voluntary positions, at school/college or as a member of a club or team.

Here’s an example:

Situation – In my volunteer work at a local charity shop, we weren’t selling as many of our own-brand gift items around Christmas time.

Task – My job was to come up with a way to bring the gift items to the customer’s attention and increase sales.

Action – I created an attention-grabbing window display which highlighted a few of the main gift items in-store, with their prices clearly visible.

Result – In the first 2 weeks of the window display being up, sales of own-brand gift items increased by 25%.

The STAR method is not only great for your CV but can also be put to good use in a cover letter, on an application form, or in an interview.

Get Help With Your CV Today

If you are unemployed and live in Stafford or South Staffordshire, we can help you to create an eye-catching CV to send out to employers. As well as this, if you need any support with finances, or would like to develop professional skills or become more confident, we can connect you to local training opportunities too!

For more information, simply contact us. Our friendly Advocates work with you towards your own personal goals, whatever they may be, whether that’s through Employment Support, Benefits Advice, Health & Wellbeing Help, or Training and Education.