10 Easy Tips to Elevate your CV and Get That Interview

Applying for a job starts with finding out who is hiring. When that perfect job appears, you need to have a CV that highlights you as a top candidate. But what does that actually mean? Isn’t a CV just a document that lists your previous jobs?

Not exactly.

Your CV is often the first impression you make, so it’s crucial that it effectively showcases your skills, experiences, and qualifications. But in addition to this, it should clearly spell out how your skills connect with their vacancy.

Whether you’re a recent school leaver/graduate entering the workforce or a seasoned professional looking to advance your career, here are 15 tips to enhance your CV and get you called for interivew:

  1. Tailor Your CV for Each Job Application: It’s great to have a generic CV as a starting point, but you should customise your CV for each job application by highlighting relevant skills and experiences that match the job requirements. Look out for a section in the job descriptions dryly called “person specification”, or more engagingly called “Our ideal candidate”. Make sure that the skills they are looking for feature prominently in you CV.
  2. Choose a Clear and Professional Format: Opt for a clean, professional layout that is easy to read. Use clear headings, bullet points, and a consistent font style and size throughout your CV. A well-organised document makes it easier for recruiters to quickly scan and assess your qualifications. I stick to
  3. Include a Powerful Personal Statement: Start your CV with a compelling personal statement that summarises your key attributes, career goals, and what you can offer to potential employers. Keep it concise and impactful, capturing the reader’s attention from the outset. This is particularly useful if you are making a major changes, e.g. you are changing industries, or there has been a gap in your employment, or you have a limited work history.
  4. Highlight Relevant Achievements: Identify the achievements that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for and emphasise them prominently in your CV. Use specific examples and quantify your achievements whenever possible to demonstrate your capabilities effectively. I like to split each entry of my work history into “Responsibilities” and “Achievements” to show what I did and that I did it well. If you can quantify your achievements, even better.
  5. Provide Detailed Work Experience: When listing your work experience, provide detailed descriptions of your roles and responsibilities. Really spell it out. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but employers want to know the detail. If you used Outlook to communicate with customers, say so. If you did appraisals for your team of three, say so. Don’t assume that someone ready your CV will know what your job involves just from the title.
  6. Include Relevant Keywords: Even if your preferred employer doesn’t use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen CVs for relevant keywords, make sure the key terms that an employer will be looking for are easily seen.
  7. Demonstrate Continuous Learning and Development: Showcase your commitment to continuous learning and professional development by including relevant certifications, training programs, and courses on your CV. This demonstrates your willingness to stay updated and adapt to evolving industry trends.
  8. Highlight Soft Skills: In addition to technical skills, highlight your soft skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability. These skills are highly valued by employers and help to see how quickly you can fit in with your new team.
  9. Include Volunteer Work and Extracurricular Activities: Don’t overlook the value of volunteer work, internships, and extracurricular activities. These experiences can demonstrate valuable skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and community involvement, which are attractive to employers.
  10. Proofread Carefully: Spelling and grammatical errors can undermine the professionalism of your CV. Take the time to proofread your document carefully or ask a trusted friend or colleague to review it for you. Pay attention to details such as punctuation, formatting consistency, and overall clarity.

If you are applying through a recruitment agency, or directly to an employer, a clear CV will help get your CV noticed, and when you make your CV easy to read with the key information they are looking for highlighted where they can see it, you have a better chance of getting that call.

Good luck with your job hunting!

Photo by AJ Jain on Flickr

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