You might find yourself thinking, “I’ve sent out hundreds of job applications and yet, I still can’t manage to secure one.” While it is important to stay on top of job listings, it is also crucial to evaluate why your application has not been successful. A good and simple place for you to start is your CV. Now, why is it important to properly learn how to write a good CV?
Your CV is the first thing an employer or recruiter will see when you apply for their job vacancy. In most cases, how it looks at first glance will determine whether the employer will continue reading or not. It also important to note that the average hiring manager spends about 10-20 seconds on each resume which means that you have a small amount of time to catch their attention. The last thing you want to do is submit a resume that is cluttered, unorganized or simply confusing.
To give yourself the best possible chance to stand out against other candidates and entice the hiring managers to read the full length of your CV, here are some of our tips on how you should structure your CV.
1. Choose your experiences wisely
If we’re talking about that 3 months part-time job as a cashier that you did when you were in high school, don’t even waste that precious and limited space on your CV for that. Pick and choose your job experiences that you think is beneficial to the respective job you’re applying for. In addition, the way you organize your responsibilities also matter. Regardless of where you spent most of your time on, make sure that you emphasize the responsibilities and accomplishments within your experience that are most important to the job which you’re applying.
2. Measure with numbers
Be more specific when it comes to explaining your tasks and responsibilities. Where you can, use quantifiable figures to paint a clear picture of your achievements. While this is hard, it certainly is the most impactful. Compare the sentence “Provide guidance and assist buyers in purchasing property” with “Successfully sold up to 8 properties in less than 6 months with a revenue of over 1 million”. Talk numbers in terms of profit earned, sales growth, number of app downloads, increase in engagement, followers or revenue. Basically, anything that could show the scale of your success or responsibilities.
3. Show your passion
To grab any employer’s attention right from the start, you need to show passion for the industry or the job you’re aiming to get. Start by highlighting a side-project or hobbies connected to the position you’re applying for. Make use of the personal profile section to describe your passion and what you’ve done to fulfill that void. Show that you have done your research on the industry or company you’re aiming for by designing your CV to cater each job positions.
4. Add colors to stand out
Having a bit of color on your resume can do you no wrong, especially since it will help you stand out from the pile of black and white resumes. Moreover, if you use the colors of the company you’re applying for, it will instantly show that you’ve done your research on their corporation and that it’s not just another position you’re applying for. However, do note that if you are applying for a government position, stick to the good ol’ black and white since those organisations are a lot stricter compared to others.
5. Read the job description thoroughly
Before you start sending out your resume, check the job description of the position you’re applying for and search for the important keywords. Ensure that you cater your CV by using the keywords they used such as ones describing skills (soft and hard), job experiences (the years, responsibilities, etc.), work culture (“team player”, “self-driven” etc.) and why do you believe you’d be a good fit. This will surely fasten the review process by a landslide.
6. Send your cv to the right person
Fully relying on the “Apply” button is simply not enough nowadays. Regardless, while that is the easiest method, the most effective way is to send your resume to a relevant person instead of just blindly submitting it through a job portal. A good trick you can take note of is to find the company’s recruiters or hiring managers on LinkedIn and send them a personal message. Introduce yourself, politely inform them of your interest in their company and how you’ve sent in an application for a specific position. Hence, when they go through the applications, they will have your name at the top of their mind.
Follow up on your email
After you’ve done applying, always remember to keep track on those companies. If you haven’t received a response within a few days, there’s a high probability that they haven’t seen your email and not that they ignored it. Which is why you should go ahead and send them a friendly follow-up after 4-5 business days. Use a friendly tone and remind them of the application you sent in a few days back.
Your CV is your best chance to make a wonderful first impression and secure yourself that interview. Hence, go take a look at yours and we hope that these tips will help you secure that job.