Looking to beat the competition with a killer CV?
Here’s 5 Ways to Instantly Boost your CV and win that offer you’ve been dreaming of.
In this post, you will learn how to make your CV hit all the right marks and virtually guarantee you get shortlisted.
Whether you are applying for your dream job, a promotion, internship or global opportunity, a winning CV is essential to make it happen.
Let’s Get Started!
So first of all, know that first impressions count. A lot. If you don’t make an impact at the beginning, your application will be left behind to collect dust!
Today more than ever potential employers are desperate to find someone that stands out. Someone remarkable.
You have to be willing to go the extra mile and your CV must make a promise that you are the very person they are looking for.
Basically, your CV should have the reader smiling, engaged and becoming more excited with every page.
So are you ready to go through step by step the 5 Ways to Instantly Boost your CV.
Great! Lets begin…
No. 1: Your photo
Yes, in most cases it is better to include a photo on your CV. But there are some exceptions.
You see, appearances do matter. It’s no coincidence that online profiles get greater response when a photo is included.
It is the best way to make a positive first impression.
When the reader can see what you look like as a person, it builds connection. This is so helpful to build a visual picture for the reader and adds a real-life and human element to your application.
This is a great opportunity to show that you look the part. Make sure you match expectations for example: ‘professional’ position such as working in a bank or university, should have you dressed more formally.
However, whatever position you are applying for, try and keep things on the smarter side and ensure your photo is the ‘passport type’. This means front facing and looking at the camera for a standard headshot.
Don’t forget to smile! So many times, I’ve seen photos with ‘RBF’. (Google if you’re not sure what it means) Of course it’s ok to have RBF at other times but imagine this: your photo is going out as your personal ambassador.
To make the best impression, you need to convey your warm, friendly side – just as you (hopefully) would meeting someone in real life.
Note – showing teeth is optional and only recommended if it looks natural. If you’re still not sure whether your photo looks right, have an honest friend give you some feedback.
These days, your phone is likely good enough to get you a great instant image you can edit straight away. But please, avoid using anything more than the gentlest of filters and I’d recommend sticking to adjusting the brightness of your image only.
Make sure you are well lit with a clean and clear, preferably white background. Natural light is perfect for lighting your shot so try and take your picture in a well-lit room, easily done when you are near a large window.
Lastly, ensure you ask someone else to take the picture for you. This is not the time for selfies. Remember to get a whole bunch taken so you can pick out the best one.
No. 2: Your name
Ok so your name might seem a bit obvious but hear me out.. This is the very first thing the reader will see so it’s essential you get this right.
Your name will be one of the first things to catch the reader’s eye so make sure it stands out with larger font than the rest of the text.
In most cases, if your name is especially long, it is a good idea to shorten it a little. This helps keep you memorable and allows them to find you online more easily. Really, just your first name and your family name is needed. You may consider an initial as well if you really feel it’s part of your identity. eg. Samuel L. Jackson.
No. 3: Your Contact Info
You want to make it as easy as possible for the reader to get in touch for more info or to give you an offer. So put it right under your name.
So what’s included? You need your telephone number, email address, and at least some of your address (the reader wants to at least know where you are based.
Don’t forget to update your email address if it’s out of date! Having your potential employer email you at email@example.com doesn’t quite set the tone. Your best bet is to keep things simple. eg. ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
What about including social media links you ask? Well your LinkedIn profile (if you have it updated) can be a great idea. LinkedIn is a professional platform to showcase your professional background and experience.
How about Facebook you say? Most likely no, unless you have only used it professionally. Even them consider switching over to LinkedIn. Also, it’s fine to include a Facebook page for a business page that you manage.
The same applies for Instagram and others. However, there is an exception for showcasing portfolios of your work. Just ensure you don’t also have any personal posts in there too.
Also, be sure to label it correctly, e.g. Portfolio available: @yourtag (Instagram)
No. 4. Your Introduction
Yes your CV should have an introduction. It’s a great way to jump ahead of the competition by grabbing the reader’s attention.
This is even more important if you are not submitting a cover letter or don’t have an opportunity to share your unique selling point(s) (USP) elsewhere in your application.
This is your competitive edge and your chance to inject some excitement.
Here you get to share how your mission in life, your passion and your drive has prepared you perfectly for the position you are applying for. You may need to get a little creative to pull it off and include some story elements to build some extra connection.
Following this section goes all your usual suspects. Your employment history, your work experience etc. Here’s an outline below for you to follow.
Name (and photo), Contact Details, Introduction, Employment History, Work Experience, Additional Skills, Interests, References
No.5. Your Interests
Your interests could be what makes or breaks your application. It’s so important to finish strong and leave the reader with the impression that you are going to be an asset to their organisation.
Really, this part is all about letting the reader know a bit more about you as a person.
And remember, if you want to attract other people in life, your focus is not trying to get in front of others, but having them come to you.
As you develop and improve your own passions and skills, you will ignite an the interest of others who will gravitate towards you.
Briefly outline 3 or 4 different interests, with at least 2 in some way complementing your professional skills and one being in some way a little unusual or remarkable in some way.
Here’s a couple of examples that would sound great on any CV.
Volunteer work, creative interests such as art, design, writing etc. More unusual sports like archery or martial arts.
Of course, don’t just copy these! Brainstorm your own interests. You don’t have to be an expert in them, just have some excitement and passion for them, even if its new to you.
Of course, avoid hobbies like video games, sleep and netflix!
OK, that’s it! Now, it’s time to put your supercharged CV to the test with the world’s best global opportunities.