Constructing an excellent CV that will catch the eye of a potential employer and make them want to call you for an interview can seem like a minefield. How long should it be? Have I put in too much detail? What extra information should I include about my interests? If you worry that your CV is being chucked on the rubbish pile before it even gets a look, here are some tips on how to not be a CV cliché.
The key way of how not to be a CV cliché is by starting as you mean to go on and that means a strong opening to introduce yourself and draw in the reader, so you need to up your personal statement for this one. Outline who you are, your most impressive but job-relevant skills and a few short examples of how you’ve proven these and why you would suit the role.
This will give the employer a good general view of you and make them want to read on and find out more about you and why they should employ you.
You took the words right out of my mouth (it must have been while you were dissing me)
One of the top ways that your CV could be just like anybody else’s is because of the language choices that you make. Research conducted by Adzuna which analysed over 1 million CV’s found that the top word found in over a quarter of those CV’s was ‘motivated’ while the others in the top ten were ‘initiative,’ ‘social,’ ‘organised,’ ‘friendly,’ ‘leader,’ ‘experienced,’ ‘hardworking,’ ‘outgoing’ and ‘driven.’
Sweet-talking to a potential employer won’t help you unless you can then back up your qualities with examples of how you have demonstrated this. Say you’re applying for a sales role and you use the term ‘social,’ you should provide them with evidence of how this nature has enabled you to establish great working relationships with clients or drive sales.
The proof is in the pudding
Similar to the last point, place more of an emphasis on results rather than responsibilities. Employers can get bored reading a list of twenty tasks you were responsible for, they want to be shown why you could actually benefit their business. Don’t just say ‘I was responsible for gaining new clients,’ say ‘I gained X new clients for the company in X time.’
The missing piece of the puzzle
So many people send CVs that employers aren’t interested in because they aren’t tailored to the position in a way that makes them seem like the missing piece the company needs. Customising your CV to match the jobs you apply for is one of the top ways of how not to be a CV cliché. Look for key words in the job description and echo them in your CV stating how you display these sought-after candidate skills and put the focus on any experience you have that is relevant to the role.
Think you’ve got the perfect formula for a CV that will knock employer’s socks off? Check out all of the jobs we have to offer to get you started!