Top 8 Effective Tips to Create a CV that Stands Out
Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for a single job posting. Faced with this avalanche of applications, they will only take a few minutes to read yours. You might as well put all the chances on your side by making a good CV. It’s the perfect business card to catch the eye of recruiters, and it deserves you spending some time on it.
To have a perfect CV, there are a few basic rules to follow. More precisely, there are 8 of them. Check the list of things you should not forget when creating a good CV.
Include essential sections
Your CV allows recruiters to learn a little more about you, your background and your experience. They should be able to scan your CV at a glance and find essential information about your application. For this, your CV must contain these essential sections:
● a part containing elements on your civil status (name, first name, address, phone number, email address and possibly if you have a driving license if the job description requires it);
● a part on your training and diploma,
● a part about your professional experience,
● and a final one on your interests.
In the ‘Professional experience’ section, list the companies for which you worked – from the most recent to the oldest. For each stage of your professional career, list the skills gained.
This list of essential topics is not exhaustive. You can add other information like your soft skills, for example.
Give a title to your CV
The title of the CV is impossible to ignore. Like the CV summary or the catchphrase, it lets a recruiter know what your professional plan is and your level of responsibility. It allows a recruiter to see at once if your profile is in line with their needs. Forget the flattering qualifiers completely worn out by appearing in all CVs (for example, serious and attentive commercial director).
If you are responding to a job ad, it is advisable to take the title appearing on the latter and complete it with one or two qualities that could distinguish you from your competitors (for example, Trilingual Commercial Director French, English and Italian).
Personalize your CV
A personalized CV is more likely to catch the recruiter’s eye. Obviously, there is no question of transforming your CV from top to bottom – neither the layout, nor the background need to be modified. On the other hand, the titles of the position held must be highlighted to correspond to the expectations of the recruiter as much as possible. They must have the feeling that your CV is really made for them.
One trick is to unpack the job offer and to find the keywords scattered throughout it to reuse them in your CV. To do this, make sure you read the ad carefully and note the important words in all the headings. From the sector of activity to the job title or the experience required and the level of education, they must be found in the CV for it to pass the first hurdle.
A good CV should fit on one page
On this subject, recruiters are adamant: one page and no more. Given the amount of CVs they have to analyze, the time they can devote to it is fairly limited.
Many recruiters will tell you that experience descriptions often contain unnecessary details. There is no need to mention the food jobs you did when you were a student and a bunch of them unrelated to the position you are applying for or the 3 to 6 month internships when you were a student. Sort out your experiences.
Moderation is the key to a good CV
Better is the enemy of good. Few colours, an adequate CV font, few logos, and few tables: your CV should be above all informative. Unless, of course, you are looking for a job as a graphic designer. The most beautiful layouts are often the simplest.
Fonts are important because they help recruiters get some information about you. If you want to give the image of an efficient perfectionist, with character and straight to the point, choose Helvetica Neue, or Century Gothic. If you prefer serif fonts (with small sticks under the letters), then we recommend Garamond or Times New Roman. If you are more of a neutral font lover, choose Arial or Verdana.
Airy, harmonious, neat, the CV must give the recruiter the best impression at first glance. Beware – a slightest false note can automatically disqualify you.
No lies, seriously
In all circumstances, you must follow the golden rule when looking for a job – do not lie in your CV. Your background and experience do not correspond in all respects to the job description? It’s tempting to make a bit of home-made puffery to fit the profile of the ideal candidate a little more closely.
The diploma and experience appearing on your CV must reflect the exact reality of your professional background. The presence of misleading information may, depending on its importance and the resulting prejudice to the employer, justify dismissal of the employee for misconduct (simple or serious).
Include professional references
Professional references are a plus in a CV. Who’s better than your former managers or colleagues to talk about you? They will give a precious opinion on your know-how but also on your know-how. Recruiters are keen on this feedback and will not hesitate to call the contacts listed on your CV.
Proofread your CV
To have a good CV, it is imperative that no spelling mistakes have crept in. Spelling mistakes are always unacceptable. They are a sign of a spelling deficiency or inattention, a trait that is not sought after in the workplace.
Check the text before sending out your application or have your CV proofread by someone you know.