Crafting a Winning CV

Standing Out in a Competitive Market!

Maximising your CV has always been important, but it's especially relevant today as the job market becomes increasingly competitive. With many people facing redundancy due to the current economic climate, having a strong CV can make all the difference in securing your next role. In this article, we'll provide some do's and don'ts to help you make the most out of your CV and boost your chances of landing a new job.

DO: Tailor your CV to the job you're applying for. 

One of the most important things you can do to maximise your CV is to tailor it to the job you're applying for. This means customising your CV to highlight the skills, experience, and achievements most relevant to the role you seek. Don't make the mistake of submitting a one-size-fits-all CV to every job you apply for; instead, take the time to customise it for each application.

DO: Ensure conciseness and limit your CV to 2 pages.

While it's important to provide enough detail on your CV to showcase your skills and experience, it's equally important to ensure that your CV is concise and easy to read. Hiring managers often have to review many applications, so you want to make sure that yours stands out for the right reasons.

To keep your CV concise, try to limit it to 2 pages if possible. This can help ensure that your most important information is front and centre, while also demonstrating your ability to prioritise and communicate effectively.

Focus on the most relevant and impactful experiences and achievements to keep your CV within this length. Remove any irrelevant information, such as jobs that are not directly related to the position you're applying for or coursework that's not relevant to the job.
Additionally, use clear and concise language to describe your experiences and achievements. Use bullet points and short sentences to break up large blocks of text and make it easier for hiring managers to skim your CV.

By keeping your CV concise and limiting it to 2 pages, you can create a more effective and impactful document that will help you stand out from other candidates.

DO: Use metrics to quantify your achievements.

Quantifying your achievements on your CV can help provide concrete evidence of your impact and success. Using metrics can help potential employers better understand the scope of your work and the results you were able to achieve.

When quantifying your achievements, try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying "Increased sales revenue," try "Increased sales revenue by 20% over 6 months by implementing a targeted marketing campaign."

Other metrics you might consider using could include things like:
•    Time saved: If you were able to streamline a process or eliminate redundancies, how much time were you able to save for your team or company?
•    Cost savings: Were you able to reduce expenses for your team or company? If so, by how much?
•    Revenue generated: Were you able to bring in new business or increase sales? If so, how much revenue did you generate?
•    Customer satisfaction: Did you receive positive feedback from customers? What was your satisfaction rating or customer retention rate?

Using metrics to quantify your achievements not only helps to make your CV more compelling but can also help you stand out from other candidates who may not have as much concrete evidence of their successes. However, be sure to use relevant metrics that demonstrate your skills and experience in a meaningful way. Don't simply list numbers without providing context or explanation. Be prepared to discuss your achievements in more detail during an interview and be ready to provide evidence to back up your claims.

DO: Use action verbs to describe your experience.

When describing your experience, use strong action verbs to make your CV more dynamic and engaging. For example, instead of writing "I was responsible for managing a team," try "I led a team of 10 employees, overseeing their performance and ensuring project deadlines were met." Using action verbs like "led," "managed," "delivered," and "implemented" can help your CV stand out.

DO: Focus on personal achievements and highlight your contributions to team successes.

While it's important to demonstrate that you can work effectively as part of a team, it's also important to focus on your personal achievements. These can help differentiate you from other candidates and showcase your individual strengths and accomplishments. 

When discussing team achievements on your CV, make sure to highlight your personal contributions. This can help potential employers understand how you specifically contributed to the team's success. For example, instead of saying "My team delivered a successful project," try "I led the team responsible for delivering a successful project, which involved coordinating team members and ensuring timely completion of project milestones."

However, don't neglect to highlight your personal achievements as well. These can include any individual accomplishments that demonstrate your skills and experience, such as achieving targets, delivering projects on time and within budget, or implementing process improvements.

DON'T: Use generic language and cliches.

It's important to avoid using generic language and cliches in your CV. Phrases like "team player," "detail-oriented," and "self-starter" are overused and don't really tell employers anything meaningful about you. Instead, focus on specific skills and accomplishments that demonstrate your value to potential employers.

DON'T: Include irrelevant information.

While it's important to provide a comprehensive overview of your skills and experience, including irrelevant information can detract from your CV. Avoid including information that doesn't directly relate to the job you're applying for, such as your hobbies or personal interests. Stick to the most relevant information and keep your CV focused on the role at hand.


DON'T: Neglect to proofread your CV.

Finally, it's essential to proofread your CV carefully before submitting it. Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos can all leave a negative impression on potential employers and mean your profile is immediately discounted. What's more, recruiters will often be sifting through hundreds of CVs a week and so your CV must be easy and engaging to read. 

Make sure to review your CV thoroughly and ask a friend or family member to proofread it as well. Having a fresh set of eyes can help you catch mistakes you might have missed. Moreover, typing assistant tools like Grammarly can help you maximise your writing by offering improvement recommendations in terms of its correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery.



In conclusion:

Maximising your CV is crucial in today's competitive job market, especially given the current economic climate. It is typically the first piece of material a recruiter or hiring manager will read about you; of course, first impressions matter! Especially when you're looking to stand out from the hundreds of other CVs a recruiter will be tirelessly inspecting. 

Furthermore, to tell the truth, most people's CVs are not particularly great and broadly fail to incorporate much of the advice offered in this article. Whilst this is not great news for recruiters, it is great news for you as it doesn't take much to separate yourself and create an eye-catching profile. By taking the time to maximise your CV in these ways, you can create a powerful document that showcases your skills and experience in the best possible light.