Standing out from the crowd is easier said than done, especially if you’re fighting to be seen and heard in an industry that’s saturated with talent. Here are five of our top tips to help your CV stand up and be counted.
- Invest in a professional CV review
If your goal is to land that dream job, your CV deserves to be perfect. When it comes down to the wire, a well-presented CV packed full of perfectly-placed keywords relevant to your experience may set you apart from other candidates – so it really is worth getting it right. If formatting, writing, or proofreading isn’t part of your skillset, seriously consider hiring a professional CV writer to give it the once over.
- Nurture your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is a great way to meet, and stay in contact with, professional people in your network. It can be the source of exciting job opportunities, a place to easily manage a public portfolio, or a way to meet likeminded individuals, so it really pays to not let your profile fall to the wayside. LinkedIn runs on keyword searches, so make sure your headline and other public information are full of the right keywords that directly relate to your line of work and industry.
Don’t forget to make use of LinkedIn’s revolutionary ‘Endorse’ and ‘Recommend’ functions, which enable you to back up your experience and skills with evidence. For a truly outstanding profile, try and hit ‘All-Star’ level, as providing all the information you can, makes you more attractive to potential employers. Stay connected with us for more of our top tips by following our company page.
- Don’t neglect the all-important cover letter
A well-crafted cover letter can be as important, if not more important than the CV itself. Sadly, most either get overlooked, or bodged together. Simply put – don’t copy and paste chunks of text from your CV, as it’s a surefire way to get binned. A cover letter should be seen as an opportunity to express why you’re perfect for that job and company specifically. It’s a chance to show how your skills are relevant to the role, and why you as a person would be a great fit for the business. Ultimately, your CV and cover letter should go hand-in-hand with each other, and be tailored to the role you’re applying for. It may take a little extra time and effort, but nothing worth having comes easy.
Key points: Keep your cover letter brief, positive, and end on a really strong call to action. Don’t waste your reader’s time – save the technical stuff for the CV.
- Following up on your applications
The first trick here is to ensure you’re keeping an accurate record of the jobs you’re applying for. Worst-case scenario? You email the wrong HR manager about the wrong job, which could take your application out of the running. If you want to follow up on the progress of your applications either by email or phone, the standard timeframe for doing so is around seven to ten days after sending, unless the job advert/confirmation email states otherwise.
Key tip: If you don’t receive an answer straight away, don’t get disheartened. Try to keep in mind that the person you’re trying to reach is probably very busy, and that calling or emailing too frequently will likely generate a negative response.
- Always be honest
With six degrees of separation feeling closer than ever, it’s never been easier to get caught out on that little white lie you told about your education or experience. Embellishing on the facts might seem appealing if it puts you ahead of other candidates, but CV screening is becoming more advanced, and more and more people are getting found out. If you are lacking the skills to land you a certain contract, filling in the gaps with relevant experience is where should focus your attention. It may not happen over night, but it’ll be worth it in the end.