CV hacks that work

We all know that applying for a new job can be a time-consuming and sometimes all encompassing task, with your CV your first opportunity to impress a recruiter and hiring manager. Thankfully there are a few tips that will help you quickly and successfully boost your CV and stand out when you next apply for a job.

The first is to make good use of a professional summary by using it to pitch yourself as an expert. Tailor it with relevant keywords, include specific applicable experience and prove your unique selling proposition. Don’t waste time listing objectives or generalisations; focus instead on what differentiates you from similar candidates.

Next, add facts, statistics and links throughout the experience section of your CV as proof you did your previous jobs well. After all, hiring managers don’t want to read what you think about yourself—they want proof that you possess the skills you claim to have. You should also add digital evidence to bring your claims to life, such as online reviews of an event you organised.

Remember to put yourself in the thick of the action. Using phrases such as ‘I was involved in’ or ‘I assisted in’ implies that you were a bystander not instigator in the task described. Instead, use strong action verbs and own your individual results and successes. Make sure every word works for you. After all, CVs should be limited to two pages, so remove superfluous words or experience to free up space for the skills and successes that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. Bullet points are a simple way to highlight key information succinctly while also keeping the document format tidy.

Finally, treat your CV as a ‘living’ document by updating it as soon as you undertake any activity that further demonstrates your skills, successes and ability to add value to an organisation. This allows you to respond quickly with an up-to-date CV when a suitable opportunity becomes available.

The author:
Alex Jones, Senior Regional Director, Hays Office Support