Your CV is one of the most important parts of your job hunt. It will shape an employer's first impression of you and will often dictate if you make it through the initial round of the application process. Ensure you don't fall at the first hurdle with our five tips to make your CV stand out.
1. Keep it short & sweet
Your CV shouldn't be more than a page at this point in your career. Question whether all the information you've included is relevant - does an employer need to know you once babysat your aunt's puppy?
You can always cover additional points in your cover letter and if you make it to interview, that's the time to flesh out your experience. Your CV is a snapshot of you and your career and a springboard for future discussion.
2. Make it easy on the eye
Your CV needs to be an effortless read. Keep it uncluttered with clear sections and titles, using bullet points to break up long paragraphs. Bite-sized chunks are much easier to navigate than a long piece of narrative.
Although it needs to be eye-catching, your CV isn't the place to experiment with exotic typefaces and colours. Simple fonts such as Arial or Verdana in black are most legible. Check out our rules for the perfect CV here.
3. Triple check for spelling mistakes
Graduate recruiters are inundated with CVs and spelling mistakes are a quick way to sort the wheat from the chaff. Even small grammatical errors suggest you have poor attention to detail and could put you out of the running - make sure they're banished from your CV.
Ask friends and family to review your CV - a fresh pair of eyes will be more effective at spotting the mistakes you've been staring at for days.
4. Focus on results
Employers want to know the impact of your actions, they don't just want to see a list of the tasks on your CV. Highlight your specific involvement in activities and how you made a difference - don't be shy about emphasising areas you excelled in.
Ensure your experience stands out - statistics are incredibly powerful and give a real sense of the impact you made.
5. Include LinkedIn
Pop a link to your LinkedIn profile on the soft copy of your CV. Employers can then see your recommendations, your group activity and any content you've created or shared.
Just make sure your online profile is up to date and in line with your CV - many graduate recruiters will look you up on LinkedIn and discrepancies between the two will look suspicious. Take a look at our guide to building a professional LinkedIn presence.
Need some more pointers? Check out our video with business 'How To' Guru Gwyn Day all about writing a great CV and cover letter.