Posted March 05, 2015 by

How to Make Your CV Stand Out in 5 Easy Steps

Young smiling cheerful woman holding her resume

Young smiling cheerful woman holding her resume. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Think about it; recruiters and hiring managers must see hundreds of CVs each and every month. So how do you ensure your humble sheet or two of A4 finds its way into the right hands the next time you send or email it to a prospective boss?

The fact is, there’s no hard and fast answer; it’s true that different recruiters with different managerial styles are bound to like…well…different things. But there are still some steps you can take to ensure you’ve got the best shot possible at being called in for an interview.

Remember these and we bet you won’t go far wrong. Here goes…

1. Think Outside the Box – Are you a budding advertising writer looking to market yourself as the next Don Draper? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to manage a Hilton hotel or other hotel jobs? Whatever industry you’re hoping to enter, is there a way you can think outside of the box in order to ensure your CV doesn’t get tossed in the bin? Of course, content writers can think quite creatively in terms of their opening sentence or two (does it always have to be so formal, for example?), but what can designers do? Remember: if there’s a chance to display your talents – in any way possible – in your CV, do it. Budding graphic designers should ensure their CV stands out aesthetically, while content writers need to make sure their CV is typo-free and devoid of grammatical errors. Give the presentation of your resume some thought and you’re onto a winner.

2. Consider Adding Testimonials – While many employers only ask for testimonials or references following an interview, there’s no reason at all why you can’t offer such information early – especially if it helps bag you an interview. Speak to your last couple of employers, mentors or tutors and cleverly scatter some quotes in the right places in your CV. It’ll go a long way to ensuring you stay firmly in the interviewer’s mind later.

3. What About a Portfolio?– When it comes to putting a CV together, consider added extras that’ll help amplify your personality and skills to your would-be employer. Can you provide a portfolio of sorts with your CV, which helps show off your work and shows you’ve gone the extra mile to stand out. Or perhaps you can direct the employee to a special section of your website, which has been tailored to the company and includes further information about your relevant experience?

4. How About a Video Resume? – Sure, a paper CV is a great idea (and one that’s helped land people their dream roles for years), but can you back yours up with a video resume too? Maybe you can add a link to your paper CV that helpfully sends the hiring manager to a YouTube page. Giving an employer a chance to get an idea of how much you’re prepared to do to get the job can really help you along the way to getting an interview.

5. Add Relevant Hobbies – Most college students will no doubt add a mixture of the following hobbies to the extra curricular activities section of their CV or application form: reading, socialising, reading, swimming, running. But try to think outside of your general day-to-day hobbies and consider what makes you different from everyone else applying for the job. Did you win an award at school for a great story you wrote? Perhaps you’ve volunteered somewhere in your free time? Be mindful of the kind of hobbies and interests you include; does socialising with friends really offer the impression you’re hoping to project?

Sean Revell specializes in helping employers find the right candidates and graduates find their dream job roles within the hotel, catering and hospitality industries on behalf of Leisure Jobs, the UK’s largest leisure specific job board and recruitment agency.

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