How to Write a Job Winning CV That Stands Out in 2021

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A picture of candidates holding up their CVs

Let’s face it, writing a great CV is one of the most challenging parts of job hunting.

Spending hours Googling CV writing articles, watching endless YouTube videos, looking for templates, mimicking your friend’s CV – the struggle is real.

One article tells you to keep it one page only, another tells you to keep it two to three. One article tells you to forget about summaries, another tells you that a summary will land you the interview. The confusion is probably giving you a throbbing headache and you’re now wondering what you should do.

Writing a resume is hard, we know. But it’s not your fault!

The truth is, most of the advice out there hasn’t really helped you reach your end goal, which is landing your dream interview. And this is exactly the aim of this article.

In this article we will share with you the best tips to write a job winning CV that stands out – so you can get that job you’ve been dreaming of!

Are you ready to dig into the good stuff?

First of all, avoid making these common mistakes

A picture of recruiters looking at a candidate's CV

Did you know that the average recruiter spends 6 seconds looking at a CV? You might be surprised to know that the majority of CVs get tossed out for one simple reason: mistakes.

Whether you made a grammar mistake, used unprofessional language, or used your 7th grade email address – the recruiter will most likely rule your CV out.

The first mistake you should avoid at all costs, is sloppiness. Make sure you properly check your CV for any spelling mistakes, typos or language mistakes. Almost 60% of CVs have grammar mistakes and we don’t want yours to be one of them!

The second mistake is writing a long summary page. You can bet that many recruiters will not read a large block of text that emphasizes on why you are a perfect fit for the job. A simple, short and brief summary will do the trick. Try to use bullet points that highlight the most relevant experience you have, as recruiters will be more intrigued to read your summary that way.

The third mistake, is using too many buzzwords. The truth is, buzzwords will only make you sound like everyone else. We can guarantee you that a recruiter might read hundreds of CVs a day and they’re all for ‘’team players’’. Instead, skip the buzzwords, use power words and show quantitative results. More about that in the next point!

Keep it real and show quantitative results

Numbers. Many CVs seem to lack them.

Job seekers make the mistake of writing general accomplishments like “Managing a hardworking team that brought great success to the company.” Instead of saying something like: “Managing a sales team of 15 that increased monthly leads by a great 25%.”

Recruiters want to learn more about the results that you can bring to the company! So make sure you keep it real (don’t go overboard) and let the numbers do the talking.

When you show quantitative results and measurable metrics in your CV, you will be showing the recruiter and employer the value that you can add to the company once they hire you.

Just because you don’t have metrics to add, it doesn’t mean that you can’t quantify other results. For instance, you can use time, budgets, number of teams, and other comparable results.

Did you help your team complete a task 80% faster than usual? Great! Make sure you mention it.

Do you see where we’re coming at now?

Don’t forget to tailor your CV

If you really want to write a winning CV, you’re going to have to make it easier for the recruiter to see if you’re the perfect fit for the job.

How do you do that?

Take a good look at the job requirements and see what the employer is looking for. Then, start writing your CV by tailoring your achievements, experience, and accomplishments to the job.

If you’re going through a career change, or you have a huge gap in your CV, then we suggest you write your CV in a functional order. This is where you focus more on what you can do and your core competencies, rather than your work experience alone.

A functional format looks like this:

·         Objective

·         Accomplishments

·         Capabilities

·         Employment history

·         Education

·         References

Therefore, we can’t stress enough how important it is to highlight and organize each section, so that everything the recruiter expects to see is in the forefront and at the top of your CV. Don’t forget to tailor your CV to be in direct correlation with the requirements, so you can help the recruiter easily assess your strengths and competencies.

Choose a design that is easy on the eye and hooks the recruiter

These days, almost everyone is working remotely. So ‘’standing out’’ to recruiters can be a stiff challenge. Now, we’re not telling you to go overboard and send your CV in a box of donuts. But we want you to follow a strategy that will yield consistent results. So if you want to follow an eye-pleasing format that is easy to digest, you can simply follow a black-and-white template with sections that follow this order:

·         Summary

·         Experience

·         Education

·         Volunteer work

·         Interests

Also, you don’t have to put a picture on your CV. Studies have shown that CVs with a picture have an 88% rejection rate! Keep in mind that recruiters can always check your LinkedIn profile to see your picture.

The most important thing to keep in mind here, is that if a recruiter really spends 6 seconds scanning your CV, then make sure they catch a good glimpse of who you are. To really hook them, make sure your summary section is done in bullet points (as discussed above) and has quantitative numbers that are gripping.

Keep your “Interests” section interesting

If you’re looking to instantly build a personal connection with the person reading your CV, then consider this as a little hack: let your interests section offer value. Try to make this section all about evoking an emotional response that would give you a major competitive advantage.

Take a moment to think about a topic you love. Whether its technology, cryptocurrency, cooking, paragliding or anything else.

Did something pop into your mind?

If not, then consider going for neutral topics. Food, sports, university, hobbies, and travel. Listing these are not enough though. You’ll want to write what you love or favorite in parenthesis.

So if you love travelling, food, or sports, you can follow these examples:

“Football (Hardcore FC Barcelona fan!)”

“Site seeing (in South East Asia specifically)

“Trying new food (I enjoy Mexican and Italian dishes)

If a recruiter spots a common interest, then you can guarantee that it could be a conversation starter when you get that interview with them. Interests can always strike a chord and they can most definitely provoke an emotional response.

Putting it all together

Your CV is your chance to make an awesome first impression, and land yourself that interview you’ve been dreaming of. Don’t forget that there’s a lot that goes into crafting a job winning CV that edges out competition. The good news is: you’re now armed with best tips that will help you create a CV that allows you to stand out from the crowd! So take some time now to tweak your CV in the way you see fit, so you can secure yourself many more great interviews.

Good luck!

Become a leader in hiring today!

Join the hundreds of companies who are already hiring successfully with our award-winning hiring platform.
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