How to Make Your CV Stand Out and Get Noticed by Employers

How to Make Your CV Stand Out and Get Noticed by Employers
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 10 March, 2023

Understanding ATS and Optimizing Your CV for Success

There are dozens, maybe even hundreds of CVs competing with you for the position you’re applying for. So, if you look at it from HR’s point of view, CVs make up a mountain of work and their main target is to finish them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Their goal is to sort out as many good candidates into the shortlist.

Nowadays, there’s a system to assist HR in this task. ATS, or Application Tracking System will automatically track the content of your CV, and shortlist them by matching your CV's  keywords and the qualifications they’re looking for.

If this sounds daunting, don’t worry! You can create ATS friendly CV with the following guide:

  • Create the content of your CV based on the company needs you applied for. If you have 2 different skills such as UX/UI Design and finance management, you don't have to mention both skills in the same CV. You can choose the one that is suitable for the job application. Be careful that a job vacancy looks for one role but the detail of the daily job is for 2 different roles.
  • Pay attention to detail requirements for the job position that you want to apply for. You need to highlight your skills as a keyword that is suitable as the main requirement in your CV. This will enable the system to mark you as a potential candidate.
  • The structure of your CV is important! Categorize your education, work experience, and description of yourself into separate parts in your CV for the system to understand you easily.
  • Put relevant content on your CV. Avoid unnecessary information in your content CV i.e kindergarten and elementary school name in your educational background. It is more relevant to mention any relevant training or workshops you have attended.
  • Simplicity is key. Simple design of your CV will help the system rank you better.

Once you've made all the touch ups to your CV, don't forget to save it in PDF format and attach it to your application email. Personalise every application email subject to the company and job posting you’re applying for. It’s a small but important detail that’s not to be missed!

Unlock the Secret to Crafting a Stunningly Designed CV

Now it’s time for the fun part – designing your CV! When you next sit down to update your CV, pay attention to the design. Is it eye-catching? Is your work experience in chronological order and easy to navigate? Are your key skills listed as bullet points and do they stand out? And is there anything else you could be doing with your CV font, colours and design to make it stand out from your competition? Whilst good content is vital to improving job interview chances, the design of your CV can be just as crucial.

Here’s some tips to make your CV look professional and impactful.

  • Select your professional image and put it on the top of your CV. Remember, this is not a profile photo for a social media account or dating app!
  • Layout should be too spacious. Also pay attention to the line and letter spacing, so that they are not too tight or dense.
  • Choose a suitable font type and size. Font types close to Montserrat or Calibri, with font sizes in the 11-16 range, are the most appropriate.
  • Regarding font size, it's also important for you to understand a bit about CV design hierarchy. Headers such as Education, Work Experience, and Skills/Abilities should be presented larger than the explanatory sentences.

When in doubt, use templates! You can find ATS-friendly CV templates with impressive designs here. The best part is, they're free! Simply download the file and edit the content to your liking.

Crafting a Winning CV through the Power of Storytelling

If you’ve ever applied for a job and gotten up to the interview stage, then you must have heard of the question: "Can you tell me more about yourself?" This question is just as important in your CV!

You have to weave in some storytelling to make it readable and flow well, leading your readers' curiosity into wanting to get to know you better. What are the good storytelling sequences for your CV?

  • About me

At the very beginning of your CV, summarise who you are, what you do, and what you’re capable of, in a concise and memorable way. You can also write your contact number or email here.

  • Education

You’ll want to make this section to be as brief as possible. Don't exaggerate; just list down the last two education experiences you had. You can also add your academic and non-academic achievements that you got during school or university here. Employers love qualities that suggest leadership and a can-do, team player attitude.

  • Work experience

For those of you who have just graduated and have no prior working experience, you can fill this section with your experiences in organisations or extra-curricular activities that you’ve participated in. And for those of you who have working experience, share your experience from your previous workplace. Highlight how your role made a positive impact on your team, by adding in achieved targets or even recognition or awards given.

  • Skills and abilities

In this section, write short pointers about your abilities, from your educational background to your work experience. There are two skills that you can expand on your hard skills or technical abilities from work experience, and soft skills or abilities related to your personality and professionalism.

It’s important that your CV isn’t just a random collection of information but it represents the image of yourself. The good storytelling on your CV will make you stand out among the other candidates. Good luck and happy job hunting!

More from this category: Resumes

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