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Careers blog
31 July 2017

4 ways to ensure your CV grabs attention

Although the vast majority of people will have drafted and distributed a number of different CVs during their working lives, many still find the process incredibly challenging. Applicants have to present themselves in an interesting and engaging way that allows them to stand out among the crowd.

This poses several problems. What do you put in a CV? What interests and what bores recruiters? How do you demonstrate that you’re the ideal candidate using only a few sheets of paper? In reality, the answers to these questions will vary depending on the type of job, industry and business you’re applying to, but in order to assist you in a more general sense, we’ve put together four of our top tips for producing an attention grabbing CV.

Length

Not losing the attention and interest of a recruiter is as important as generating excitement. After all, how can you expect someone to react positively to your CV if it takes too long to read or all the interesting parts are lost amongst long passages of irrelevant information? Keep your CV short, sweet and punchy and don’t let it ramble on beyond the essentials.

Remember that you want to generate interest in your application so that you’re invited to provide a more detailed history at an interview. You don’t want to divulge your whole life story in a CV.

Let the job advert write your CV

If you’re responding to a job advert, make sure you read it carefully and use it as a prompt when writing your CV. Examine the specific language used and respond to it accordingly. For instance, if an advert demands ‘passionate and hardworking staff,’ use your CV to prove that you have worked long hours in the past and will do so in the future, that you’re motivated and that you’re an enthusiastic team member. If the advert asks for ‘proactive’ applicants, use your CV to demonstrate leadership qualities.

Be specific

To create an attention grabbing CV, you need to make sure it's tailored to the job you’re applying for and that it uses specific examples from your own work history to prove you have the required skills. Instead of simply writing that you’re ‘hardworking and a team player,’ provide examples that back this up. Concrete evidence that you’ll be able to deliver on your CV claims is a sure way to increase interest in your application.

Do something different

Finally, if you have the ability and self-confidence, it may be a good idea to try something different with your CV. This is particularly true when applying for jobs that have a creative element to them. In the past, we’ve heard of CVs designed to resemble infographics, advertising boards taken out to display full sized CVs and a CV turned into board games, so anything is possible! 

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