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Standing out from the crowd

  • Publish Date: Posted 19 days ago
  • Author: Adele Blaikie

​Are you looking for a new job and struggling to stand out from the crowd? If so, we’ve put together a few hints and tips to make sure that your CV is the best that it can be. Check them out!

Personal Statement/Profile

We all know how difficult it is to draft a compelling personal statement. We don’t like to sound big headed or to praise ourselves too much, but this is precisely what your personal statement is for. Your CV is a way of marketing and selling yourself to a prospective employer, so ensuring that your opening statement stands out will have them wanting to read more.

Do:

  • Ensure that your personal statement is concise and clear. It should include who you are, what you can offer, and what your goals are.

  • Add personalisation where possible, tailor your personal statement to the job that you are applying for.

  • Include your interests. While being competent in a foreign language may not be specifically crucial to the role that you are applying for, it does tell the employer more about you as a person. Did you learn that language while living in another country? Tell them!

Don’t:

  • Don’t state the obvious. In 2020, employers will expect you to be computer literate and have experience using word, excel, or office. Don’t waste vital retail space on obvious information.

  • Try to avoid jargon, technical terms, or acronyms that are specific to the job. More often than not, the first people to see your CV are recruiters who might not understand what they mean. However, if it is pertinent to the role, provide explanation and definition.

  • Don’t lie! Now, this is true of your CV as a whole, but don’t embellish or lie; if you get to the interview stage, this section often leads to questions and could trip you up.

Employment history

This allows you to demonstrate your experience and the key skills you’ve gained throughout your employment history that you will bring to your new role.

  • List your job history in reverse chronological order.

  • Include your job title, employer, and the dates you were in that role.

  • If you have a gap in your employment history, do not leave it out—state why you were not employed and how long this period was. A gap in your CV is nothing to be ashamed of and very common, talk about it!

  • When outlining your role, be succinct, and highlight the key activities of your role.

  • Did you go above and beyond the parameters of your role, state that too.

  • Do not repeat yourself. If you’ve worked in a similar role, you do not need to repeat your activities under each, instead pull out the aspects of that job that were different from your previous roles and what you learned in that position.

  • If you have a particularly long job history, do not describe each position. Instead, maybe just the first five or so depending on what is relevant.

  • Similarly, for work out with your field of expertise – for example, a part-time retail position you held at 17 – just the basic details are required.

Qualifications

In industries such as oil and gas, renewables, and nuclear, this is more important than ever – use your qualification to stand out from the crowd.

  • Always ensure that you list qualifications (such as a degree) in reverse chronological order.

  • If you have undergone any personal development or courses relevant to your field of work –ensure that they are listed first and stand out. This could be the difference between an employer choosing you or choosing someone equally qualified.

  • Ensure any training courses you have that have an expiry are in date. On that note, it’s time to look out those certificates and figure out exactly what courses you might need to undertake again, and what is still valid.

Formatting/Style

  • Length – try to keep your entire CV to two pages and definitely no more than three.

  • Style – more often than not, employers are looking at your CV in a digital format, so opt for something clean and easy to read. Font should be around 10 -12 (do not make it smaller to fit in more content) and choose a common and clear font like Arial or Calibri.

  • Proofreading – if you’re not confident proofreading the document yourself, ask a friend or family member. Not only will they be able to point out any errors, but they’ll be more objective and can give you some pointers on the content.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become a huge asset for both job seekers and employers.

  • It is effectively a database of thousands of potential candidates. While you’re updating your CV, it is worth ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is up to date. You might even notice that it has the same layout as a standard CV.

  • If you opt to update your LinkedIn first, you can even download it as a PDF document. Just make sure that you complete each section in full!

  • Have a smart head and shoulders profile photo that truly represents how you want to be viewed by potential employers

Finally, we’re here to help. Get in touch with one of our expert recruiters and let us help you find the perfect role. Click here to contact our team.