Employers receive a huge amount of CVs for each job advertised.  The CV is not what gets you the job; it’s what gets you the interview.

You want to be shortlisted for an interview for that job so here are a few tips on how to make your CV stand out from the crowd!

• Use it as a Sales Tool – Your CV is an opportunity to sell yourself on what makes you the right person for the job. Be sure to include a profile about yourself at the start with your key attributes as this will give the recruiter a feel for what you can bring to the role before they have even met you.

• Early Impact – It is critical to garner early impact as you want to hold the employer’s attention so they read through to the end of your CV.  They begin scanning CVs and only those which grab their attention will be reviewed more closely.  However don’t waffle – use hard facts, evidence and achievements to sell yourself.

 Be clear, concise and structured – Your CV should be no longer than 2-3 pages.  It is not an essay and should be well structured into sections with bullet points for your duties under each job.  When writing about your experience or education, put the most recent experience first. As this is a professional document don’t use unconventional fonts or colours and remove boxed and shading as this won’t make your CV stand out for the right reasons.

• Remove all unnecessary information – Avoid putting in the words “Curriculum Vitae” at the top of your CV.  Instead of naming your referees, it is perfectly acceptable to include “Referees are available upon request”.  This also has the advantage of you knowing when an employer is contacting your reference as they need to contact you first in order to get the reference details.  It will also free up more space for more relevant information.

• Understand what the employer is looking for – You need to review the job description for each role and tailor your CV accordingly with the skills you have that match the job as some experience or education/training might be more relevant for one job than another.

• Avoid fabrications – however tempting it is, never mention untruths on your CV.  This may get you an interview, however, these embellishments are usually found out during the interview process when you are asked to elaborate in more detail or to provide examples.  Often companies ask for proof of education on starting in a new position.

• Use Relevant Keywords – Recruiters often use search tools and keywords to find relevant candidates.  Make sure you have appropriate keywords in your CV which are relevant to the job.

• LinkedIn Profile – It’s a good idea to include your LinkedIn URL on your CV. Prospective employers can, at a glance, visit LinkedIn to learn more about you and your skills and qualifications. However, you should be sure to fully develop your profile prior to listing your URL. If your profile simply restates the same information that’s included on your CV, you won’t improve your chances of getting an interview.  Job seekers should include a variety of recommendations with their profile to show that others respect the quality of their work.  Also make sure you include a customised URL, shorten it so it’s easy for employers to reach.

For more tips and video clips for making your CV stand out view www.collinsmcnicholas.ie/jobseekers/cvs/

Niall Murray

Managing Director

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services