How to Make Your CV Stand Out
Applying for a new job? The first thing you need to do is make sure your CV stands out from the crowd.
While a well-presented CV arguably isn't as valuable as an awesome GitHub repo or smashing a technical test, it's usually the first thing that recruiters and hiring managers will see so it's essential to get it right.
According to a study by theladders.com the average time someone spends reading a CV is just 6.25 seconds (about the same mount of time as it took you to read the paragraph before this). Crazy, right?
To ensure you're making a good impression your CV needs to grab attention, fast.
Here are some tips on how to do this:
You need to immediately engage the reader.
The first thing your reader needs to decide is the relevance of your CV so you must ensure that this information is easy to find.
Always include a Technical Summary of the programming languages, technology and tools that you have experience with towards the start of your CV so that the reader is immediately presented with the reasons why you're a match for the job.
Infographics are a great way to make this information pop off the page but keep them simple. If you choose to use them, ensure the information remains easy to find!
A key piece of advice is to make sure that your headings stand out so that your CV is easy to navigate and therefore easy to scan for information.
There's no point in having a pretty CV if it doesn't contain enough information.
However, let's face it: a wall of text will likely be met with "tl;dr".
Remember that relevancy is the key to engaging your reader so it's a good idea to give yourself a 2-page limit. Personally, when writing my own CV, I found this difficult until I asked myself:
"Is this information going to influence the
reader to invite me to an interview?"
Beyond your personal details, the key pieces of content you should include are:
- Technical summary
- Relevant work experience (Company, Dates, Job Role, Achievements, Tech Used)
- Links to your GitHub profile / Portfolio / Projects you're proud of, etc.
Looking for a quick hack? Highlight specific keywords in your CV that match the job description.
The current economic climate means that there are more candidates applying for fewer vacancies so now more than ever you need to ensure that your CV is on point.
First impressions are everything and due to the volume of applications that recruiters and hiring managers will receive the reality is that a book will be judged by its cover.
Make sure that your CV is visually appealing, easy to read, and only contains information that is relevant to the vacancy you are applying for to stand out from the crowd.