Writing a CV is hard, but with the right skills and phrasing, you can make yours stand out and boost your employability.
When applying for a job, an appealing CV is crucial. It’s a direct representation of your skills and achievements. Studies have shown that the average recruiter only spends up to seven seconds looking at your CV, so you really want to make it stand out. Having an unorganised, chaotic CV is a bad reflection of your skills and creates a negative first impression.
With that said, here are five skills that will make your CV stand out from everyone else’s:
Soft vs hard skills
One of the most important things to know before writing your CV is the difference between soft and hard skills.
Soft skills can be categorized as transferable skills and may be referred to as “people skills”, including flexibility, teamwork, and the ability to work under pressure.
Hard skills are generally more specific and usually involve training, such as a degree qualification or other certificate. Having both hard and soft skills in your CV is vital for creating a balanced view of your experience.
Having a general understanding of computers and technology is attractive to most employers. These skills will come in handy for everyday tasks in the workplace like emails and video calls.
It’s also a good idea to get familiar with presentation tools and spreadsheet programs like PowerPoint and Excel. There are loads of courses available online to help you better your basic computer skills.
Communication is a necessary life skill and a must-have on your CV, as most jobs involve a lot of coordination with other people. Make sure you highlight both your verbal and written skills. Mention them in the context of your previous experience to have the best impact and make sure you’re using language effectively in your CV to convey your written communication skills.
You can make your CV stand out by utilising power words which can trigger an emotive response. Using strong language will emphasise your skills and achievements and develop the layout of your CV.
Examples of power words suitable for a CV could include: improved, innovative, delegated, and implemented. You can find more examples of power words online. Just remember to avoid using the same word repeatedly where possible.
Extra skills and work experience
Everyone has different skillsets that apply to different areas of work, but you can really bolster your CV by including any extra voluntary or community work you’ve undertaken. A great reason for having voluntary work on your CV is that it demonstrates to employers that you have a strong work ethic, which is an extremely desirable trait. Adding voluntary endeavours to your CV is also a good way to showcase your skillset if you haven’t got much paid work experience yet.
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