On average, recruiters spend 5 to 7 seconds screening a CV before deciding whether to continue with the applicant or not. It equals the average time that we spend looking at an Instagram post on our feed. So, here are some tips that can help your CV stand out in a large pool of applicants.
1. Professional and neat design
It is a myth that a bold and impressive CV will catch the eye of recruiters. Instead, pay more attention to the layout and how information is being presented. Take advantage of headings and bullet points to neatly organize and list your previous experience. Also, stick to a consistent system of formatting for all information like company names, time frames or details.
A well-presented CV will make it more pleasant and clearer for recruiters to screen the most important information. Being simple and minimal also helps your CV get through the new “gatekeepers” like automatic and AI screening platforms.
2. Make use of the relevant keywords
It’s no doubt that your CV should be relevant to the jobs you are applying to. Avoid sending the same CV to different positions and companies. Quality is more important than quantity. The goal is to get to the next step instead of sending out the most CVs.
Therefore, take time to read through the job description and try to implement the keywords in your CV as well. For example, phrases like “SEO”, “engaging content”, “social media management”,.. are eye-catching for a Social Media Marketing position. By doing so, it enhances your chances of getting through both an AI and manual screening process.
3. Specific name for your file
We usually underestimate the importance of the file name of the CV. It’s common and fast to name your file “CV”, but it is not the most optimal way. Be more specific!
Sometimes, recruiters have to download your CV onto their computers. Therefore, let’s be more thoughtful and name your file more properly. It should at least include your name and the position.
Ex: CV-John-Doe, CV-John-Doe-Marketing
This will prevent your CV from being lost in a pool of CVs with the same name and help it to stand out in case someone has a messy Download folder.
4. Check and check again
Last but not least, don’t forget to proofread your CV. A minor grammatical or spelling mistake could also lead to a bad impression. You could either check with AI tools or with an actual friend. It is nice to have someone read over your CV and give you constructive feedback to improve.
A CV is like the first impression during a job interview. Therefore, make sure you do put some time and effort into crafting a more suitable and relevant CV.
I hope these tips will help your CV to stand out and enhance your chances of getting to the next step! Good luck!