A CV is a vital part of the job application process. It’s the first thing that an employer sees, and first impressions count. It’s important, then, to get it right. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to know what is best to include in a CV. Sometimes, we can overload it with too much information that employers don’t care about, or we can include information which doesn’t sell ourselves as the ideal candidate.

Luckily, you can make your resume clear and concise by using free online apps that offer tailored-built templates, taking the hassle out of designing and building your resume. Some even offer thousands of pre-written examples and resume samples if you’re short on time or inspiration. However, if you want some extra guidance to make yours stand out, with the help of Jenny Butter from The International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring, here’s 5 IDEAL ways to improve your CV.

USE BUZZWORDS

This is a vital yet simple way to communicate to the employer that you’re a good fit. Go through the company website of the job you’re applying for and highlight their key buzz words such as creative, flexible, best in class, intuitive, analytical, empathetic etc. Then, incorporate them into your CV – but only if it is true, of course. Poetic licence can only extend so far.

SHOW THEM THE GOODS

Profile what you have to offer the company, not what you want from them. This is an excellent way to communicate who you are, what you bring to the table, and how you are better than other candidates. Once you’re installed and indispensable, you can begin to call the shots more effectively.

MATCH YOUR SKILLS

When listing your key skills and values, go through the job description of the role you’re applying for and highlight what they want. Make sure you add these into your key skills and core competencies section. Try and give examples to show how you fit the role so they’re assured that you actually live by these values and skills, and not just say you do.

LIST YOUR KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

Employers like to know that you’ve pushed the envelope before, not just done a satisfactory job and coasted through each day. They also want to know what you’ve done, that you care about it and why they should care about it too! For these reasons, it’s imperative that you add in the key achievements that you completed while in your various job roles.

EXPLAIN ANY CAREER GAPS

There are numerous reasons for career gaps, but they need to be explained, whether it be sick leave, maternity, a gap year or simply unemployment. During your period away from the workplace, it’s highly likely you will have been doing something that demonstrates transferrable skills, so make sure you list them. Otherwise, you’ll be selling yourself short.